Contraceptive Management for Women Who Are at High Risk of Thrombosis

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Jun;61(2):243-249. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0000000000000356.


Managing contraception for women at high risk for thrombosis poses unique challenges. Combined estrogen and progestin contraceptives increase the risk of both venous and arterial thrombosis. They are contraindicated in women with a history of thrombosis and in other women at high risk for thrombosis. However, progestin-only contraceptives are generally considered safe in this patient population. This paper reviews the evidence linking hormonal contraception and clotting risk, outlines appropriate contraceptive methods for women at high risk for thrombosis, discusses surgical risk for sterilization in the setting of current or past thrombosis, and includes a review of the safety of hormonal methods for women who are fully anticoagulated. In general, long-acting reversible contraception is safe for women with a history of thrombosis and may offer additional noncontraceptive benefits for women who are on anticoagulant therapy, such as improved bleeding profiles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / adverse effects*
  • Contraceptive Devices*
  • Contraindications, Drug
  • Female
  • Heparin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Care
  • Risk
  • Sterilization, Reproductive*
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Heparin