People Are Sharing How Birth Control Caused Them To Develop Blood Clots In Their Brain — Here’s What Experts Say About The Risks Of Birth Control

People Are Sharing How Birth Control Caused Them To Develop Blood Clots In Their Brain — Here's What Experts Say About The Risks Of Birth Control

Folks Are Sharing How Delivery Management Brought about Them To Develop Blood Clots In Their Mind — This is What Specialists Say About The Dangers Of Delivery Management

A 19-year-old girl named Sydney Marshall just lately shared her horrifying expertise of discovering out contraception had precipitated a blood clot in her mind.

She posted the story on TikTok, the place it has acquired over 10.5 million views and hundreds of feedback. Sydney says it began with a headache that was a migraine — and no over-the-counter remedy would assist alleviate the ache.

After her migraine continued for 5 days and he or she skilled different signs — like vomiting — she headed to pressing care.

  @sydneymarshall /

The cortisone shot they gave her in pressing care labored for a brief time period, however then she says her signs got here again and he or she was admitted to the ER.

A screencap from Sydney's TikTok video

After a CT and MRI scan, she discovered she had a blood clot in her mind and was informed it was seemingly attributable to the contraception she had been on for 2 years.

A screengrab from Sydney's tiktok video

Sadly, a fast look within the feedback will present you that Sydney’s expertise with severe unwanted effects after being on contraception is not tremendous uncommon.

A screengrab of a comment from Sydney's TikTok video saying they also have a blood clot issue

(And a fast TikTok search may even pull up tons of individuals sharing experiences just like Sydney’s — like this one and this one and this one.)

@sydneymarshall /

Folks shared how their contraception has precipitated them to develop strokes…

A comment from Sydney's video that says they had a stroke in their 20s
A commenter saying they had a stroke at 20 and nearly died

…and different medical circumstances referring to blood clots.

A commenter saying they had a pulmonary embolism because of their birth control

BuzzFeed spoke to Sydney, who mentioned she first began taking contraception drugs containing estrogen and progestin when she was 17 years outdated and he or she had by no means had any unwanted effects prior. “When the docs informed me that I used to be identified with sinus thrombosis, I used to be confused and shocked. They defined that this meant I had a blood clot in a vein on the left facet of my head that wrapped across the backside facet of my mind,” she mentioned.

Following her analysis, Sydney has been placed on blood thinners that she’s going to proceed to take for the following six months. “I’m additionally on oral ache remedy. The ache is meant to subside throughout the subsequent one to 2 weeks because the blood thinners start to begin working. The clot ought to dissolve because the blood thinners start to work. There are a variety of ‘what ifs’ in the case of any medical state of affairs, however I’m certain that if this situation went untreated that I may’ve skilled a stroke,” she mentioned.

A stock photo of a woman's face putting a prescription pill into her mouth

Longhua Liao / Getty Photographs

Sydney’s docs knowledgeable her that the drugs she was taking had larger quantities of estrogen and that this could possibly be what interacted in her physique to trigger a blood clot to develop on this approach. Sydney made it clear, although, that “all our bodies react in another way and many alternative manufacturers of contraception include the identical quantity of estrogen” because the one she was taking.

birth control pills strewn about on a table

Peter Dazeley / Getty Photographs

“Total, I don’t assume that contraception is harmful for all girls. I believe there are various dangers with taking it, and there are positively some issues to be careful for. There are numerous execs and cons to all medicines and I believe that girls ought to simply pay attention to the unwanted effects and attainable cons that contraception may cause,” Sydney concluded.

BuzzFeed consulted two OB-GYNs to get their views on contraception and blood clots — Dr. Marieme Mbaye and Dr. Cordelia Nwankwo, who each have been working towards for over six years.

A headshot of Dr. Marieme Mbaye

Marieme Mbaye

Each docs confirmed that hormonal contraception can improve the danger of blood clots. “Most hormonal contraception drugs are available two varieties. One sort is estrogen and progestin (often called mixture contraception) whereas the opposite is progestin-only. We all know estrogen will increase the exercise of coagulation elements and different regular components of the blood that enable it to thicken, which in flip raises the danger of blood clots forming. Nonetheless, the danger of a blood clot resulting from estrogen-containing contraception is fortunately small — 1% or much less over 10 years of being on the tablet,” Dr. Mbaye mentioned.

pack of pills

“Progestin-only contraception is a superb different to estrogen-containing start controls like sure drugs, the patch, and the vaginal ring. Research have proven a majority of these contraception don’t improve your danger for blood clots when in comparison with somebody who just isn’t on any contraception. Progestin-only choices embrace sure drugs, the injection, the implant, and intrauterine units (IUDs), together with Mirena, Kyleena, and Skyla within the US. There may be additionally a totally non-hormonal IUD, the Paragard (or copper) IUD,” she mentioned.

Fahroni / Getty Photographs/iStockphoto

Usually, blood clot signs may be completely different relying on the world of your physique. “For a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot within the leg), [you can experience] remoted and chronic swelling, redness, and/or ache within the calf or behind the knee. For pulmonary embolism (blood clot within the lungs), widespread signs can be chest ache, persistent shortness of breath (particularly with out exercise), and the sensation of your coronary heart racing may all be signs that warrant additional analysis,” Dr. Nwankwo mentioned.

woman holding her leg

“As an OB-GYN, the individuals I fear about essentially the most are these over the age of 35 and people with particular danger elements that improve their danger of growing blood clots. These danger elements embrace being a smoker, having hypertension, or having a private or household historical past of blood clots,” Dr. Mbaye mentioned.

You could find extra detailed details about blood clot signs right here.

Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Photographs

“The primary factor the common contraception consumer can do to lower their danger of blood clots is absolutely simply to attempt to dwell a wholesome life-style. Do not smoke, attempt to be lively extra days every week than not, keep hydrated, and eat a balanced weight-reduction plan with a rainbow of veggies and fruits. It is also essential to let your prescriber know of any adjustments to your medical historical past, as a result of typically it should change whether or not or not we suggest contraception drugs or one thing else,” Dr. Mbaye mentioned.

woman heading to a yoga class

Halfpoint Photographs / Getty Photographs

All this being mentioned, Dr. Nwankwo desires individuals to know that every one drugs have dangers. “Focus on together with your supplier what the dangers are for you primarily based in your medical historical past. Hormonal contraception just isn’t with out dangers and potential unwanted effects, that’s why it’s essential to be recommended on it earlier than beginning,” she mentioned.

a woman taking a pill

“I wish to reiterate that any remedy — together with ones thought-about very secure like aspirin, ibuprofen, Tylenol, Benadryl, and others — have severe dangers hooked up to them. Ensuring you’re educated on what these dangers are is a very powerful factor you are able to do earlier than beginning any drug, together with contraception. Your private and household medical historical past can be crucial since that may have a big effect on whether or not your supplier recommends one thing,” Dr. Mbaye mentioned.

Olena Ruban / Getty Photographs

So, should you’re contemplating taking contraception, Dr. Nwankwo advises you to first share the explanation you wish to take it together with your physician. For instance, is it only for contraception, or is it for interval ache and/or heavy bleeding? “If in case you have sure forms of migraines, then it’s possible you’ll be at larger danger for blood clots with estrogen-containing strategies. Perceive the potential unwanted effects of various strategies. Focus on which methodology makes essentially the most sense in your life-style and which strategies are only for you. Relating to contraception, it’s not one dimension matches all.”

A stock image of a patient with a doctor

Kokouu / Getty Photographs

Moreover, to get extra data on contraception as a complete and the potential impacts it might have in your mind, BuzzFeed additionally spoke to Sarah E. Hill, PhD, analysis psychologist, and creator of the ebook This Is Your Mind on Delivery Management.

A headshot of author Sarah E. Hill

After spending most of her profession learning girls, girls’s brains, and the affect of girls’s intercourse hormones on numerous issues, Sarah realized that regardless of all of this experience, she didn’t have the primary clue about the way in which the contraception tablet may have an effect on girls’s psychology. And he or she’s not alone on this.

She informed BuzzFeed, “I didn’t give it some thought in any respect till I went off the tablet. I used to be on it for greater than a decade and after I went off it, I felt like I wakened from a nap that I didn’t know that I used to be taking. I felt three-dimensional and alive in a approach that I hadn’t in years. That is what led me to start diving into the analysis trying on the results of the tablet on girls’s brains and the ways in which they expertise the world.”

Sarah E. Hill / Through

And all of that learning and analysis ultimately paid off, in that she was capable of dedicate herself to discovering out extra about contraception and the way in which it may (or couldn’t) affect our brains.

A getty image of a brain scan

“I believe that the medical group is nicely conscious of the results of the tablet on girls’s our bodies from the neck down. Like, they appear to have a deal with on the bodily unwanted effects. Coronary heart circumstances, strokes, and the like. However there was nearly NO consideration paid to the results of the tablet on the way in which that girls assume, really feel, and expertise the world,” she mentioned.

“It is because medical analysis is targeted on security and efficacy (will it kill you? Does it work?) with little consideration paid to experiential results and high quality of life,” she mentioned. “With the tablet, these items are large, since hormones are a key participant in how our brains create the expertise of being the person who we’re.”

“It’s been a difficulty that has been nearly utterly ignored by the medical group till very just lately. And since the analysis into that is nonetheless comparatively new, it isn’t being taken critically sufficient by these within the medical group.”

Andriy Onufriyenko / Getty Photographs

Relating to misconceptions about contraception, Sarah mentioned that the assumption that it solely impacts your ovaries is an enormous one. “That is bodily not possible. Shutting off girls’s intercourse hormones (which is what you do if you give girls the tablet) has an affect on each cell within the physique that has hormone receptors. And that is true of most cells within the mind. So altering girls’s hormones adjustments girls. It doesn’t simply have an effect on whether or not they’re able to get pregnant or not.”

The uterus being seen via X-ray type technology

As well as, Sarah thinks that everybody who takes contraception wants to concentrate on the bodily dangers — like being at an elevated danger for blood clots and stroke.

“I believe that it’s important for girls to additionally pay attention to the vary of psychological unwanted effects related to tablet use. Issues like adjustments within the danger of growing nervousness, melancholy, sexual dysfunction, PTSD-like symptomology, and even adjustments in issues like companion preferences (the tablet can affect who girls are interested in) and the flexibility to construct muscle from understanding (the tablet appears to decrease girls’s capability to construct muscle from energy coaching — seemingly resulting from lowered testosterone),” she mentioned.

Magicmine / Getty Photographs/iStockphoto

Lastly, Sarah does not assume there’s any purpose to desert contraception at this level. However we do must take it extra critically. “Now we have been tremendous cavalier about being keen to vary girls’s intercourse hormones within the identify of contraception, pimples administration, and to handle interval signs. We don’t must abandon hormonal contraception, however we do must take it extra critically. Altering girls’s hormones adjustments girls. And it is a large deal. It’s time we deal with it as one.”

Stock image of a pack of birth control pills

Ian Hooton / Getty Photographs/Science Picture Library RF

So, there you might have it! Knowledgeable consent across the drugs we put in our our bodies is the least we are able to hope for. Thanks to Sydney for sharing her story, and to Sarah Hill, Dr. Mare Mbaye, and Dr. Cordelia Nwankwo for sharing helpful data for our readers.

Acquired another questions round contraception? Tell us within the feedback.


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