For women looking to prevent unplanned pregnancy, regulate a menstrual cycle or even reduce symptoms associated with conditions such as endometriosis, hormonal birth control has long been an effective solution. While birth control of this type is successful on many levels, it also comes with the risk of unwanted side effects. While physicians will speak with patients about the risk for weight and emotional fluctuations associated with hormonal birth control, some of the more serious risks of birth control have been linked to the development of varicose veins as well as the potential for developing blood clots.
Birth Control’s Link to Varicose Veins
For many individuals suffering from varicose veins, the condition can be linked back to genetics, family history and daily habits associated with occupation such as standing or sitting for extended periods of time. Hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy can also lead to the development of varicose veins in women. During pregnancy, a women’s body experiences increased levels of both estrogen and progesterone which are tied to the development of varicose veins. Because hormonal birth control enhances these levels as well, it is often assumed that there is a probability of varicose vein development for those individuals utilizing hormonal birth control options. However, there is not a lot of evidence that oral birth control leads to increase in varicose veins. For now you should know there may be an effect or the experts who have suggested this in the past may have been wrong about oral birth control pills causing varicose veins.
Birth Control’s Link to Blood Clots
While hormonal birth control isn’t directly responsible for the formation of blood clots in the human body, the hormone fluctuations that birth control effects can cause an individual to be more susceptible to blood clot formation over time. As hormones begin to slow blood flow, clotting increases which can enhance the probability of a blood clot to form that’s potentially dangerous. It’s important for patients who utilize hormonal birth control to research their family history surrounding blood clots, Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolisms, as patients with genetic links to these conditions are generally more likely to develop them while using hormonal birth control.
Reducing Risks Related to Varicose Veins and Blood Clots
In general, physicians often recommend that patients prone to blood clots and the development of varicose veins who are also using hormonal birth control pay close attention to time spent sitting or standing throughout the day. Balancing the two is a great way to promote healthy blood flow. Additionally, compression garments can be regularly worn to enhance blood flow and in the event a patient is concerned about the potential for either of these conditions, a full vein screening can be performed to rule out underlying issues.
Schedule a Birth Control Consultation Today
Whether you’re interested in a vein screening or have questions surrounding varicose veins or the development of blood clots our team of specialists is here to help. Contact us today to set up an initial consultation with Dr. Wright at the St. Louis Laser Lipo and Vein Center.