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Q.

Is the birth control pill still considered safe? What about the extended pill -- does it carry any extra health risks?

Related Topics: Birth Control Pill
 

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A.

Most birth control pills in use today are far safer than those used in the past -- mainly because they contain far lower levels of hormones. In fact, the pill has been shown to help protect women from ovarian and endometrial cancers. While numerous studies have looked at the relationship between the pill and breast cancer, there is no conclusive evidence of a link. However, if you smoke, the pill may increase your risk of high blood pressure, blood clots, and blocked arteries. If you are over age 35 and smoke, or if you have a history of blood clots or breast, liver, or certain gynecological cancers, the pill may not be the best choice for you. Also, the FDA is conducting ongoing research on the safety of birth control pills containing drospirenone (such as Yaz and Yasmin) due to a possiblity of an increased risk of blood clots. There are no extended health warnings associated with continuous birth control pills like Seasonale, which provide for one menstrual cycle every few months.

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Read the Original Article: Frequently Asked Questions About Women's Health