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Risk of blood clots while taking a contraceptive pill is greater than the AZ vaccine

It was confirmed yesterday (April 7), that blood clots should be listed as very rare side effects” of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

A review by the European Medicines Agency’s safety committee conducted a thorough review into cases of blood clots in people who had the first jab of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The EMA finding followed an in-depth review of 86 cases of blood clots – 18 of which were fatal – as of 22 March out of around 25 million people who had received the vaccine.

This means the risk of these rare blood clots is around four in a million.

However, there is actually more chance of women having a blood clot by just taking a contraceptive pill every day than actually having the vaccine, reports InYourArea.

For example, between three and four cases of VTE (venous thromboembolism – blood clots in the veins) are expected to occur in every 10 000 women each year when they take the combined pill Yasmin.

Other combined pills can vary between five to 12 people per 10,000; women not taking hormonal contraception have a two in 10,000 chance while pregnant women who are 6+ weeks postnatal have a one to two in 10,000 chance.

The official UK Government website states:

  • Estimates are not precise, but for women who do not use a contraceptive pill about one case of VTE per 10 000 is expected each year.
  • By comparison, about six cases of VTE are expected to occur in every 10 000 pregnancies; in healthy women who take Yasmin, between 3 and 4 cases of VTE are expected to occur in every 10 000 women each year.
  • The previous estimate was between 2 and 4 cases in every 10 000 women each year, all these estimates relate to women who are otherwise in good health.
  • The risk of getting a blood clot is very small, but your doctor will check if you have certain risk factors before prescribing the pill.

Social media has been rife with people worrying about the vaccine and the confirmation of ‘very rare side effects’, but there have also been women shouting up about their experiences.

One user replied to InYourArea audience editor Laura Hartley – who is one of the women taking Yasmin – and said their own pill (Levest) had a seven in 10,000 risk of blood clots.

Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeted to say she had actually suffered a blood clot, and we need to take note of how rare this new vaccine information is.

Guidance on the NHS website says:

Risks of taking the combined pill: There are some risks associated with using the combined contraceptive pill. However, these risks are small.

Blood clots
The oestrogen in the pill may cause your blood to clot more readily. If a blood clot develops, it could cause:

  • deep vein thrombosis (clot in your leg)
  • pulmonary embolus (clot in your lung)
  • stroke
  • heart attack

...

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