Medical Q&As

The pill - blood clots?

My girlfriend cannot take the pill. She is prone to blood clots. What other options besides condoms are open to us as a means of birth control?

You say that your girlfriend suffers from blood clots but you do not expand on that point. The detail is important. If she has suffered from a DVT (deep venous thrombosis), which is a clot in the deep veins of her calf muscles, then the combined pill (oestrogen and progesterone combined) is not suitable for her. However, if you mean by “clots” that she has clots with her periods or gets clots associated with nosebleeds or if she bruises easily then she could well be a suitable candidate for the combined pill. Assuming that she has a history of DVT then she still has plenty of options. She could be a suitable candidate for the minipill or progesterone-only pill. Depoprovera (injectable contraceptive) is another option that could be suitable for her. The coil is another option. Long-acting contraceptive implants are also available. A diaphragm combined with a spermicide is a further method that is readily available. There are also several natural family planning methods available. If your girlfriend has not suffered a DVT then all of the previously mentioned methods may be suitable for her in addition to the combined pill.