On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration announced it will conduct a full review of certain types of birth control pills. The review focuses specifically on products that contain drospirenone, which is a type of hormone called a progestin.

Most birth control pills contain two types of hormones, estrogen and progestin, and as such, all types of birth control medications can increase the risk of blood clots. However, the FDA’s concern was sparked recently by two published studies that reported the risk of blood clots is significantly higher among women who used birth control pills containing drospirenone.

Blood clots form inside the vein and are known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. While the clots typically form in the lower leg or thigh, they can easily break loose and travel to other parts of the body. For example, a clot that travels to the lungs is called a pulmonary embolism (PE), which is a serious, life-threatening condition.

The FDA’s safety review will involve more than 800,000 U.S. women and results are expected later this summer.


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