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Can You Die From Taking Contraceptive Pills?

There are life-threatening risks for some women. How can we avoid them?

A 21-year-old teaching assistant died after collapsing in front of her parents at home. They were told that it’s because of the contraceptive pill.

Fallan Kurek, from Tamworth, England, had been on the pill Rigevidon for 25 days when the incident happened. She began vomiting and had difficulty breathing, developed pain in her legs and ribs, and later just collapsed. She was rushed to the hospital in Sutton Coldfield where she spent three days in intensive care. She was pronounced dead after that.

The cause of death according to records is “pulmonary embolism,” or a blood clot, in her lung. But Fallan’s parents told The Birmingham Mail that doctors told them the pill could be blamed.

Fallan’s parents were angry when the doctors supposed that the death was caused by the pill. Fallan’s mom said, “She was only on it to regulate her periods. I couldn’t believe nobody had said the pill could do this.”

Further examinations are yet to be done, but it’s imperative we clear things up about the contraceptive pill.

The Telegraph states that “Women have died from blood clots after taking the contraceptive pill in the past.” General practitioners were also told to tell their patients that the pill can cause life-threatening blood clots.

A study published in the British Medical Journal shows that more than one million women are at increased risk because they are using new forms of the pill. And by “new forms,” they mean third generation pills like Yasmin, Femodene, and Marvelon.

John Guillebaud, an expert on contraception and the author of The Pill, explains to The Telegraph that “There is a small risk of thrombosis on the combined pill. The death rate of it is low but if you have got millions of people taking the pill, one or two people will have a bad outcome like this.”

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The Family Planning Association informs women that they are at a higher risk of blood clots and similar side effects if:

1. Anyone in their family has previously suffered from a thrombosis before 45 years of age.

2. They smoke.

3. They are diabetic.

4. They are overweight.

5. They have hypertension.

6. They have migraines with aura

To ensure safety, doctors are supposed to perform thorough checkups on women before prescribing contraception. Likewise, women should know their family’s medical history.

In the case of Fallan, there was no suggestion that she was predisposed to a dangerous blood clot. But Dr. Toni Belfield, former director of the FPA, says that chances of suffering from thrombosis can be acquired from smoking or being overweight and immobile.

Nevertheless, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the government body that regulates the pill, assures that women should continue taking it as normal. “The safety of contraceptive pills was reviewed at European level in 2014 and the review confirmed that the risk of blood clots with all contraceptives is small. If women have questions, they should discuss them with their GP or contraceptive provider at their next routine appointment but should keep taking their contraceptive until they have done so.”

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