Mechanisms of estrogen-induced venous thromboembolism

Thromb Res. 2010 Jul;126(1):5-11. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2010.01.045. Epub 2010 Feb 16.


The use of oral contraceptives (OC) is a well established risk factor for venous thrombosis. It has been known for many years that almost all haemostatic parameters i.e. plasma levels of coagulation factors, anticoagulant proteins and proteins involved in the fibrinolytic pathway change during OC use. The discovery of several risk factors of venous thrombosis in the 1990s shed new light on the association between the effects of OC on the haemostatic system and the increased risk of venous thrombosis. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the effects of different kinds of hormonal contraceptives (OC, transdermal contraceptives, vaginal ring and levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device) on haemostatic variables and the relationship between the changes of these variables and the risk of venous thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation Factors / pharmacology
  • Contraception
  • Contraceptive Agents / pharmacology
  • Contraceptives, Oral / adverse effects*
  • Contraceptives, Oral / pharmacology
  • Estrogens / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Hemostasis / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Levonorgestrel / pharmacology
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Venous Thromboembolism
  • Venous Thrombosis / chemically induced


  • Blood Coagulation Factors
  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Estrogens
  • Levonorgestrel