The British Medical Journal recently published a new study which confirmed that birth control pills containing the progestogen hormones drospirenone, desogestrel or gestodene at least double the risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE), compared to older-generation contraceptives containing the progestogen hormone, levonorgestrel. Presently the subject of many lawsuits, popular brands like as Yasmin, Yaz and Ocella are all examples of the types of birth control pills under intense scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as other regulatory agencies and watchdog groups.

According to the information found in October 25th’s British Medical Journal, the study was led by Dr. Ojvind Lidegaard of the University of Copenhagen, and it included approximately 1.2 million non-pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 49, all of whom had no previous history of thrombotic disease. The results revealed that women taking older-generation birth control pills were three times more likely to develop VTE, compared to those not taking any hormonal contraceptive. Alarmingly, however, women taking drospirenone-containing birth control pills were at six to seven times the risk for VTE compared to non-users. The data undoubtedly confirms that women taking newer-generation birth control pills are at an increased risk for developing potentially serious and even life-threatening blood clots.

Venous Thromboembolism, or VTE, is a blood clot that forms deep within a vein in the leg. This type of clot is especially dangerous (and in some cases, even deadly), as it can travel through the body and reach the heart, brain or lungs. Women taking a drospirenone-containing birth control pills, should be aware of the warning signs of VTE, which include continuous and severe leg pain, severe chest pain or shortness of breath.

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