The FDA is reviewing several popular brands of birth control pills for their propensity to cause blood clots. You’ve probably all heard about the birth control/blood clot link before (and how it’s especially risky for smokers and women over 35). But recent reports in the British Medical Journal found Bayer’s brand pills — that’s Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz and Safyral — could carry a two to three times greater risk than other brands. Yow.
So how would you know if you had a blood clot?
In general, your risk for developing a blood clot due to birth control pills is very small. But it’s probably a good idea to know what to look out for. The main kinds of clots birth control users are at risk for are deep vein thrombosis (DVT), i.e. blood clots in the arms or legs. Symptoms of DVT include:
- Swelling, warmth, redness or pain in your arms or legs
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Unusual numbness or weakness
If untreated, a blood clot in the arm or leg could break off and flow to the heart, where it could cause a pulmonary embolism—a serious condition that could lead to heart attack, stroke and death. For more information, check out StopTheClot.org.