A recent study reported a 48% higher risk of venous thrombosis in women using a vaginal ring compared with those using combined oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel.
A few studies have reported the risk in women using a transdermal combined contraceptive patch; though results were not conclusive. Developed in the 1960s, the first generation of birth control pills used a higher concentration of estrogen-like compounds as the main source of contraception. At that time, it was believed that these levels created an unacceptable risk for blood clots in the legs.
When second generation oral contraceptives were introduced, they included progestin at varying concentrations and strengths. Some use gradually increasing doses of hormones over three phases, resulting in a lower total dosage of hormone each month.
In the 1990s the third generations of oral contraceptives were released containing the new progestin, Gestodene™, Desogestrel™ and Norgestimate™. These contraceptives have lower doses of progesterone-like compounds with similar protection against pregnancy and have been shown to have fewer side effects such as weight gain, fluid retention, headaches and unwanted hair growth.
Research leads us to believe that third generation pills may be linked to a higher risk of forming blood clots in the legs, also known as deep venous thrombosis or DVT especially for women who have a past history of blood clots, a strong family history of DVTs or are overweight. Epidemiological studies have shown that oral contraceptives that contain desogestrel can increase the risk of blood clots venous thrombosis by 1.5 to 2.4 times the risk of second-generation oral contraceptives.
Do you suffer from venous thrombosis caused by using NuvaRing birth control?