Hormonal contraception and thrombotic risk: a multidisciplinary approach

Pediatrics. 2011 Feb;127(2):347-57. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2221. Epub 2011 Jan 3.

Abstract

Heightened publicity about hormonal contraception and thrombosis risk and the publication of new guidelines by the World Health Organization in 2009 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010 addressing this complex issue have led to multidisciplinary discussions on the special issues of adolescents cared for at our pediatric hospital. In this review of the literature and new guidelines, we have outlined our approach to the complex patients referred to our center. The relative risk of thrombosis on combined oral contraception is three- to fivefold, whereas the absolute risk for a healthy adolescent on this therapy is only 0.05% per year. This thrombotic risk is affected by estrogen dose, type of progestin, mechanism of delivery, and length of therapy. Oral progestin-only contraceptives and transdermal estradiol used for hormone replacement carry minimal or no thrombotic risk. Transdermal, vaginal, or intrauterine contraceptives and injectable progestins need further study. A personal history of thrombosis, persistent or inherited thrombophilia, and numerous lifestyle choices also influence thrombotic risk. In this summary of one hospital's approach to hormone therapies and thrombosis risk, we review relative-risk data and discuss the application of absolute risk to individual patient counseling. We outline our approach to challenging patients with a history of thrombosis, known thrombophilia, current anticoagulation, or family history of thrombosis or thrombophilia. Our multidisciplinary group has found that knowledge of the guidelines and individualized management plans have been particularly useful for informing discussions about hormonal and nonhormonal options across varied indications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / administration & dosage*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Progesterone Congeners / administration & dosage
  • Progesterone Congeners / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombosis / chemically induced*
  • Thrombosis / epidemiology
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control

Substances

  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal
  • Progesterone Congeners