‘No evidence’ that the combined pill increases blood clot risk from AstraZeneca vaccine

Stopping the pill ‘will not help and will put users at risk of unplanned pregnancy’

There’s no evidence that taking the combined contraceptive pill affects the risk of blood clots after the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, a leading sexual health body has said.

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health has recommended that people taking the combined pill continue to do so after receiving both the first and second dose of the vaccine.

The guidance was issued after concerns over links between contraception, blood clots, and Covid-19 vaccines.

The pill does increase the risk of blood clots in its own right, but does not affect the risk of developing the specific, rare type of blood clots with low blood platelets associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The UK’s drugs regulator issued advice in March that under-30s be offered an alternative dose of the Covid-19 vaccine where possible. By the end of March, 79 people developed rare blood clots after being vaccinated. This month, the guidance was extended to under-40s.

“There is a small increased risk of blood clots – but not this specific, rare type of clot with low platelets – whenever anyone uses the combined contraceptive pill, but this risk is much smaller than the risk of blood clots occurring in pregnancy,” said Dr Sarah Hardman, Director of the Clinical Effectiveness Unit of the FSRH.

“We don’t know that being on the combined contraceptive pill makes any difference at all to the risk of the rare type of blood clot with low platelets happening after the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

“We do not recommend that combined contraceptive pill, patch or vaginal ring users stop their contraception when they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. It will not help and will put them at risk of unplanned pregnancy.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

These are the contraceptive pills with a higher blood clot risk than the AZ vaccine

‘I got really short of breath’: What it’s like getting a blood clot from the pill

As we’re talking about blood clots, where is the government’s energy to improve the pill?