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Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
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Experience:  Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
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I was diagnosed with PCOS about 2 years ago and prescribed

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I was diagnosed with PCOS about 2 years ago and prescribed medroxyprogesterone to take when I have not gotten my period for 6 weeks. I have taken it before to induce a period, but I am nervous about taking any kind of female hormones because of the blood clot side effect - my father had a pulminary embolism several years ago, and then a cousin had one this past year. My grandmother has also had a (chemotherapy related) blood clot recently. I am nervous because I'm sure that this means that I have a history of blood clots, but my life would be so much easier if I could go on the Pill (I am not sexually active; it would be to regulate my period). Do you think this is something I should worry about? My gynecologist knows my family history, but I'm nervous anyway.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN replied 7 years ago.


Thank you for writing in today. Given your family history, I understand your concern regarding blood clots. In this situation, there are a couple things to consider. You have a family history of blood clot disorders; however, you personally have never had a blood clot. This is good. Also, the incidence of blood clots are more closely related to the estrogen hormones in birth control pills. Progesterone does pose some risk, but estrogen is more commonly associated with blood clots. This medication is progesterone based, so this would have less risk in comparison to an estrogen hormone or estrogen and combined progesterone medication. Also, you would be using this medication intermittently, rather than continuously. Intermittent use to induce a menstrual cycle poses less risk than continuous daily dosing. In addition, I suspect your provider may have prescribed a lower dose, due to your family history. At this point, I hope this information makes you feel a little more informed about the hormones. However, I would also recommend talking with and reviewing your concerns with your provider. Finally, you may want to talk with your provider about possible PCOS treatment options. There are some medications available, such as metformin, that can help women with their PCOS and help to regulate their ovulation a bit better. I hope this helps. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please let me know. Lisa

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much - you've made me feel much better! In your opinion, if I wanted to go on a progesterone-based birth control pill, would I be at increased risk?
Expert:  Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN replied 7 years ago.
Given your family history, there is an inherent increased risk. If you do choose to go on a progesterone based birth control pill, there are some low dose progesterone options, such as the minipill. These are relatively safe pills, but they can be less effective for overall pregnancy prevention. At this point, you may not need to limit yourself to just a progesterone based or even low dose progesterone pill. It all really depends on you, your needs, and your whole history. To really make a specific recommendation, I would have to know more about you, your health, and history; however, it may be worth mentioning to your provider. I hope this helps. Lisa
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