Progestogen-only contraceptive pills can cut risk of thromboembolic events associated to combined hormonal contraceptives by up to three times

Thursday, February 7, 2019

According to Dr. Santiago Palacios, Director of the Palacios Institute for Women’s Health and Medicine, “thromboembolic events associated to combined hormonal contraceptives (CHC) are believed to affect between 8 and 12 women out of every 10,000. For women who do not take contraceptives, the risk falls to 4 out of every 10,000, and for women using progestogen-only pills it has been shown that it actually impacts between 2 and 4 women out of 10,000, an even lower rate than the general population. The risk of a thromboembolic event is therefore three times lower than with CHCs.1” Dr. Palacios was speaking at the third edition of Exeltis Day, a top-level scientific event organised by the Spanish multinational Exeltis in cooperation with Madrid’s Universidad Europea to share all the latest advances in Women’s Health.

Contraceptive methods were one of the key topics at the event, which featured over 200 experts. During his speech, Dr. Palacios highlighted the need for new contraceptive options that respond to a desire for greater user safety and wellbeing, and emphasised the safety of progestogen-only pills: “Any woman who wants a safe form of contraception with lower thromboembolic risk could benefit from the progestogen-only pill.”

Dr. Palacios explained that even women presenting cardiovascular risk factors, women who are breastfeeding, smokers and women who suffer from obesity can use this contraceptive method, as it does not contain oestrogen.

Another of the key themes at the event was functional and regenerative aesthetic gynaecology. This field includes any interventions undertaken on the female genitals to improve patients’ quality of life, including treatments for vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence, issues such as hyperlaxity (excessive vaginal opening) and issues stemming from asymmetry of the labia minora or majora.

Dr. Fernando Losa, a gynaecologist at the Clínica Sagrada Familia and a member of the Spanish Association for the Study of the Menopause (AEEM, in Spanish), gave a speech on vaginal microbiota and laser use, in which he outlined the benefits of laser application, particularly for menopausal women. He explained that vaginal microbiota is an ecosystem that can be altered by a range of factors including age, body gels, excessive washing, consumption habits and even emotional state. These alterations mean a loss of Lactobacillus, which increases women’s susceptibility to urine infections. Laser therapy has been shown to raise Lactobacillus levels


Lidegaard Ø1, Nielsen LH, Skovlund CW, Skjeldestad FE, Løkkegaard E.Risk of venous thromboembolism from use of oral contraceptives containing different progestogens and oestrogen doses: Danish cohort study, 2001-9.BMJ. 2011 Oct 25;343: d6423. doi: 10.1136/bmj. d6423.