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NuvaRing, Contraceptive Patch Have Higher Blood Clot Risk than Pill

Filed May 11th, 2012 Laurie

A new study published on the British Medical Journal’s website shows that using contraceptive skin patches or vaginal rings – NuvaRing – are associated an increased risk of developing serious blood clots compared to birth control pills. The study followed all women in Denmark for a decade to compare the risk of clots.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen analyzed the data of over 1.6 million women and discovered that women not using contraception were found to have a two-in-10,000 risk of developing a clot each year. The risk increased to six in 10,000 for women using the combined oral contraceptive pill. In women using vaginal rings, the risk increased even more to 6.5 times the risk.

When researchers adjusted the their numbers to account for the patient’s age and other factors, they found the pill led to a three-fold increase in the risk of a clot.

“If women still prefer to have a ring or a patch, for example, because they are not able to remember to take the pill daily, then they can continue. That is their own choice,” said Professor Oejvind Lidegaard, who led the study. “For me, the important thing is that they are informed about the risk.”

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