Navigating your reproductive health: birth control and blood clots


Editorial Team


May 28, 2024

Healthy young woman performing yoga in a grassy field


  • Birth control methods vary, from hormonal to non-hormonal options, each catering to individual needs and lifestyles.
  • Hormonal birth control, including pills, patches, rings, and implants, can increase the risk of blood clots due to estrogen’s influence on clot formation.
  • Non-hormonal birth control methods, like condoms and diaphragms, generally do not increase clot risk, but other implications should be considered.
  • Risk factors for blood clots include obesity, prolonged sitting, smoking, diabetes, and inflammation, among others.
  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, can lower the risk of blood clots associated with hormonal contraceptives.
  • Lemonaid Health offers virtual consultations with healthcare professionals to assess individual health factors and provide personalized advice on birth control and clot risks.
  • Open communication with healthcare providers is crucial for choosing the right birth control method aligned with individual health needs and goals.

Birth control and blood clots, what you need to know

One of the biggest risks that birth control presents is its potential link to blood clots. It’s vital to understand the side effects that come with taking any medication, and birth control is certainly no exception. Years of research and development have ensured that there is a wealth of information present to allow anyone on a reproductive health journey to arm themselves with the knowledge necessary to remain safe and healthy.

Different methods of birth control

In the vast world of birth control, there are numerous methods available, each catering to individual needs. From hormonal contraceptives to non-hormonal options, it’s crucial to explore what works best for you and your lifestyle. Lemonaid Health encourages you to find the method that aligns best with your health needs and goals.

Types of hormonal birth control

Hormonal birth control works in one of three ways, depending on what method is used. It either prevents ovulation, stops fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterine lining, or changes the consistency of the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for viable sperm to reach the egg.

Different types of hormonal birth control include:

  • Oral pills
  • Hormonal Intrauterine Device(IUD)
  • Implant
  • Injection
  • Vaginal ring
  • Skin patch

Hormonal birth control & blood clot risk

The association between hormonal birth control and blood clots is an essential aspect to consider. Estrogen, a hormone present in many birth control methods, can contribute to clot formation. This potential risk emphasizes the importance of awareness and consideration when choosing a contraceptive method.

Although estrogen itself is not the sole cause of blood clots, it does increase the risk of them developing. Birth control pills use hormones to prevent pregnancy, which are typically estrogen and progestin (or both).

Blood clots are rare, but for women taking the pill or other hormonal contraceptives such as the patch or ring, the risk is increased. It’s important to know the first signs of a blood clot:

  • Pain or tenderness in the leg when standing or walking
  • Swelling of the leg
  • Red or discolored skin on the leg
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Difficulty deep breathing

What about non-hormonal birth control?

Non-hormonal birth control methods generally do not increase your risk of developing blood clots. However, it’s important to discuss other potential implications, especially for individuals with specific health conditions. Understanding the nuances of non-hormonal methods empowers you to make choices aligned with your health goals.

Types of non-hormonal birth control include:

  • Condoms
  • Diaphragm
  • Spermicides
  • Sterilization
  • Copper IUD

Risk factors and individual health history

Various factors, including age, pre-existing health conditions, and lifestyle, can influence the risk of blood clots. It’s essential to assess your individual health history to identify potential clot risks. Being mindful of these factors allows for a more informed decision-making process.

There are several things to consider when it comes to what may increase your risk of blood clots. Some are acquired due to your lifestyle, and others are genetic or inherited. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Prolonged bed rest
  • Long periods of sitting, such as long plane rides
  • Cancer
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation
  • Dehydration
  • Investigate whether anyone in your family has a history of  a blood clot in their legs or lungs

How your lifestyle can lower your risk of blood clots

Minimizing the risk of blood clots involves adopting a healthy lifestyle, alongside taking birth control. Speaking with your healthcare professional about your health history and health goals will help you understand the risks present to you when embarking on a reproductive health journey

Many individuals will not experience any symptoms of a blood clot until a complication occurs, so prevention is key in lowering your risk of one forming. Here are a few specific ways you can not only improve your overall health but also ensure you are doing everything you can to prevent blood clots:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Stand and stretch often
  • Invest in compression sleeves or stockings
  • Talk with your doctor your individual risk factors

Take advantage of lemonaid health’s virtual consultations

In today’s world, convenience is king when it comes to maintaining your health. Lemonaid Health offers virtual consultations so understanding your risk factors when considering a birth control method is available at your convenience. 

Your health history & how it affects you

Choosing the right birth control involves considering individual health factors. Open communication with healthcare professionals is key. By discussing your health history with your healthcare practitioner, you’ll ensure you receive personalized guidance so you can feel confident your contraceptive choices align with your individual health needs.

The takeaway

You should approach the connection between birth control and blood clots with informed confidence. By understanding what birth control methods are available to you, assessing your individual health history, and embracing a healthy lifestyle, you can make decisions that align with your well-being. 

Lemonaid Health is here to support you on your journey toward informed, proactive reproductive health management.

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  3. Thrombotic risk of contraceptive transdermal patches and the contraceptive vaginal ring. (2013). Prescrire international, 22(143), 266–269.
  4. Stegeman BH, de Bastos M, Rosendaal FR, et al. Different combined oral contraceptives and the risk of venous thrombosis: systematic review and network meta-analysis. 2013. In: Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-. Available from:
  5. (2024, May 15). About Venous Thromboembolism (Blood Clots). US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved May 23, 2024, from
  6. (2024, May 15). Risk Factors for Blood Clots. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved May 23, 2024, from
  7. Organon (n.d.). Https://www.Nuvaring.Com/risks-side-effects/. Nuva Ring. Retrieved May 23, 2024, from
  8. Clotting. Accessed online March 28, 2024 at


Editorial Team


May 28, 2024

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.