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Too many women 'not on safest pill'.

Summary: Too many women are not using the safest brands of the Pill, according to new research.

Studies out today have suggested that too many women are not using the safest brands of the contraceptive Pill.

Experts at Leiden University Medical Centre in Holland say that although all types of the combined pill increase the risk of venous thrombosis, some carry higher risks than others.

Venous thrombosis includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the leg or arm, and pulmonary embolism.

The study found that women taking pills containing a progestogen called levonorgestrel (for example, Microgynon) had the lowest risk of thrombosis. Meanwhile, those on contraceptives containing desogestrel (for example, Mercilon or Marvelon) had the highest risk.

Current NHS advice is that women should be on pills containing levonorgestrel - but this research has shown that many may not be.

Of the group of 1,524 women, who had an average age of 37, 859 had suffered a deep vein thrombosis of the leg, 495 had had a pulmonary embolism and 111 had had both. Another 59 had suffered DVT in their arm.

Of the total group, 72 per cent had been on the Pill at the time they suffered their thrombosis.

The results showed that taking the Pill increased the risk of suffering thrombosis fivefold compared with women not on the Pill.

The results held true even when factors like family history of disease and body weight were taken into account.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Aug 17, 2009
Words:264
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