What Are Common vs. Rare Risks with the Pill?

Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP, discusses What Are Common vs. Rare Risks with the Pill?

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Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP, discusses What Are Common vs. Rare Risks with the Pill?
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Featuring Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP
What Are Common vs. Rare Risks with the Pill?
Duration: 1 minute, 47 seconds

When we talk about risk what we’re really looking at is World Health Organization guidelines about who should never take the pill.

Those are called absolute contraindications. Who should take the pill with caution, those are called relative contraindications, and who is a low risk person for being on the pill.

The WHO - the World Health Organization - guidelines for absolute contraindications includes those people who have uncontrolled diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, active breast cancer, active liver tumors, those people who have had a blood clot previously, and a number of other categories including migraine with neurologic deficit.

That means someone who has had a migraine and who has a decrease in neurologic function even for a short time during the time of that headache.

We know these women are at greater risk for blood clots and should never be on the birth control pill. The World Health Organization also gives us relative contraindications, those concerns where it may not be the best choice for you. And that’s something that you and your doctor should discuss.

A relative contraindication would be someone with hypertension or high blood pressure that is being managed. The absolute contraindication is when it’s being un-managed. So whether you have relative contraindication, absolute contraindication, or whether you’re a low-risk person.

This is what’s meant by a risk assessment when you visit with your doctor so that you and the physician or primary care practitioner can make a good decision about your risk and decision to be on contraception.

Presenter: Dr. Vivien Brown, Family Doctor, Toronto, ON

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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