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About half of pregnant women incorrectly believe that hormonal contraception is more dangerous than pregnancy, according to new research presented today at the Annual Clinical Meeting of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Studies show that approximately 30% of women with an undesired pregnancy do not use contraception. Data on the number of women who do not use contraceptives due to safety concerns have varied.
Brandy J. Becker, MD, and Sarah J. Betstadt, MD, MPH, at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, NY, sought to evaluate patients’ knowledge of medical risks from hormonal contraception compared with risks from pregnancy. They offered an anonymous survey to women receiving pregnancy counseling at the university’s family planning clinic.
“Almost half of the women in our study were unaware that pregnancy is more dangerous than contraception,” Dr. Becker said. The overall risk of death for young healthy nonsmokers using oral contraceptives (OC) is 240 times lower than the risk of death from pregnancy-related complications, according to the researchers. The risk of developing potentially deadly blood clots in pregnancy is five times greater than the risk of blood clots from OCs. A woman’s highest risk of blood clots is during the immediate postpartum period.
Read the rest from the ACOG here.