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bpas comment on new study regarding risk of VTE and the combined contraceptive pill

A bpas spokesperson said:

"It is of course important that women are informed of the risks associated with all methods of contraception, as should be expected with any prescription medication – but these risks must be kept in perspective. While VTE is a known risk of combined oral contraceptives, which may be higher with more recently developed types of pill, the overall risk remains extremely small, with only an extra 14 cases of VTE per 10,000 women using these newer contraceptive pills.  Indeed, the risk of VTE from taking any contraceptive pill remains significantly lower than that associated with pregnancy. If women are concerned, they should have a discussion with their GP or contraceptive nurse before stopping using their pill or switching to a less reliable method, such as condoms.

"Women should be reassured that the oral contraceptive pill is a safe, reliable method of contraception – but we still need more research in to new methods of contraception. Many women, for example, do not want to take a daily pill but they also find the side-effects of long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as the coil, unacceptable, and we excited by research into a “pericoital” pill that women could take at the time they have sex. Decades of medical research have demonstrated that the contraceptive pill is safe – what women now need is investment in and focus on new methods that could better suit their lives. "


For more information please contact bpas at press@bpas.org or 07881 265 276 or 0207 612 0206

About bpas

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) is a reproductive healthcare charity which sees nearly 70,000 women a year for advice and treatment for an unwanted pregnancy or a pregnancy they feel they cannot continue, at clinics across the UK.