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21-year-old woman suffers fatal blood clot one month after starting on birth control pills

Oral contraceptives

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(NaturalNews) While newer, "third generation" types of the Pill are said to come without the frustrations of weight gain and headaches that typically come with taking older types of oral contraceptives, it has an extremely serious drawback: the potential to cause clots and lead to death.

That's exactly what the mother of 21-year-old Fallan Kurek says happened to her daughter, who collapsed within one month of taking the newer version of the Pill. She maintains that the contraceptive, which was prescribed to the U.K. resident to help regulate her periods, caused her to collapse and then die just days later from a blood clot in her lungs.

This accusations are not baseless; a study has linked the progestogen hormone called levonorgestrel, which is found in the newer forms of the Pill that Kurek happened to be taking, to being two-and-a-half more times likely to experience clots than not taking oral contraceptives at all. Pills containing the hormone estrogen also have this life-threatening potential.

Latest study more thorough than others before it, links blood clots with newer contraceptive drug preparations

While many studies have indicated links between birth control pills and possible blood clots, this particular one, conducted by researchers from the University of Nottingham in the U.K., is thought to be more conclusive due to the fact that it didn't use as many testing methods as past studies. For example, it is noted that studies from the past often used only healthy subjects (non-smokers or those at a healthy weight, for example), didn't provide dosage details, or had a variety of methodological approaches; their study took these factors into consideration and made adjustments accordingly.

The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), states:

In these population based, case-control studies using two large primary care databases, risks of venous thromboembolism associated with combined oral contraceptives were, with the exception of norgestimate, higher for newer drug preparations than for second generation drugs.

To clarify, venous thromboembolism is also referred to as VTE and is the same thing as a blood clot. As for the exception of norgestimate, experts say this exclusion is due to a difference in how it metabolizes, making its classification as a third-generation drug not entirely established.

Some contraceptives have an increased risk of causing blood clots by as much as four times

Even more disturbing is their finding that the detrimental issues aren't just relegated to hormones such as levonorgestrel and estrogen, which could result in a whopping two-and-a-half-times likelihood of clot formation. In fact, their finding also involves the fact that women taking newer forms of the Pill containing "...drospirenone, gestodene, cyproterone, and desogestrel within the last 28 days had around a four times increased risk of VTE."

Ultimately, the published study concludes:

This study, based on two large primary care databases, investigated risks of VTE associated with combined oral contraceptives prescribed to the general female population in the UK. We believe this study has the statistical power and sufficient adjustment for relevant confounders to be regarded as an important clarifying study, which has produced the most reliable possible risk estimates using currently available UK prescription data. Risks associated with combined oral contraceptives were, apart from norgestimate, higher for newer drug preparations than for second generation drugs.

High percentage of women taking oral contraceptives makes study alarming

Unfortunately, Kurek's death isn't the first instance of a person dying from taking a third-generation oral contraceptive, which are often also prescribed to clear problem skin or regulate menstrual periods. The latter was the case for London's Nancy Berry, who died of a blood clot at the age of 16. She was taking a third-generation contraceptive pill for only a month prior to her death.

Experts say that 28 percent of women in the U.K. and 18 percent of women in developed countries worldwide are using oral contraceptives, which raises serious health concerns in the event they are given these more dangerous types.


(1) http://www.dailymail.co.uk

(2) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150526215027.htm

(3) http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h2135

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