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Question
My mom's cousin died from a blood clot in her brain, and they believe it's because of birth control. Is there a type of birth control I can take that has a low clot percentage and still prevent pregnancy?

Answer
It appears that all combination (estrogen plus progesterone) birth control pills can increase the chance of blood clotting problems a little bit.  The progesterone only methods do not seem to.  That includes the mini pill, Implanon implant, plus the progesterone IUD (Mirena).  There are many other types of birth control without hormones, such as condoms, etc.  If you use the combination birth control pill, using one with the lowest estrogen dose seems to have the least chance of causing blood clots.  Currently that would be Lo Loestrin FE, which has only 10 micrograms of estrogen, compared to most pills having 20-35 mcg estrogen.

The risk of blood clotting problems is very low when taking the pill, and much lower than while a woman is pregnant.  If it happens, it can be terrible, but it's important to keep it in perspective.  Pregnancy itself is a risky condition, and some women die from blood clots to the brain or lungs during pregnancy, but it's fairly rare.

Birth Control

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Norman Solberg

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I am an OB-GYN physician. I can answer almost any question related to women's health.

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35 years in an active OB-GYN practice.

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Fellow, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology

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MD OB-GYN specialist

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