VTE stands for Venous Thrombo Embolism — the clinical term for a blood clot in the veins. It is a preventable medical condition, but left untreated, can be life-threatening.
There are different kinds of blood clot:
- A clot in the veins in your leg causes pain and swelling in your leg. This is a deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- A clot in your lungs can cause a sharp pain in your chest, shortness of breath, make your heart beat faster and sometimes you might cough up blood. This is a pulmonary embolism (PE)
- You need to see a doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms
- The combined oral contraceptive pill does come with some risk of VTE — and some pills, such as Ginet, have a higher risk than others, and should only be prescribed for medical reasons
- The progestogen-only pill — sometimes called the mini pill — comes with minimal risk of VTE
- It's important to remember that pregnancy always carries a higher risk of VTE than taking the contraceptive pill
- If you're a young person, it's a good idea to bring a parent or whānau member to your appointment — if this is possible — so family medical history, and risk factors can be talked about
- We know that young people sometimes share their contraceptive pills with their friends — please don’t do this. Only take medication that has been prescribed for you
If you are concerned about your VTE risk, please continue taking your pill, and make an appointment with us, or your GP.
- Being still for a long period time increases your risk of blood clots. On long trips, for example on an international flight, try to walk every few hours and drink plenty of water.
- If you are having major surgery or can’t move much due to an illness or injury, tell us, or the health provider who is looking after you, that you are on the pill.
- If a close whānau member gets a blood clot, tell us, or health provider, as this may increase your chance of a blood clot
For other side effects and risks: see information under: