The Contraceptive Pill and VTE
The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is increased 2-3 times in users of combined hormonal contraception methods compared to non users. The risk is highest in the first year of use and gradually decreases with duration of use.
VTE with any combined hormonal method of contraception is much less common than VTE in pregnancy and the immediate post partum period. Pills containing levonorgestrel or norethisterone appear to have lower VTE risk.
As a result, Sexual Health & Family Planning Australia recommends use of levonorgestrel and norethisterone pills containing a maximum of 35mcg of ethinyl oestradiol as the first line in women seeking a combined hormonal pill.
Other pills are safe to use where there is a specific potential benefit to the woman or there are side effects to first line pills.
The Therapeutic Goods Act advisory on this matter is available at: