COC and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk

Last edited 03/2020 and last reviewed 10/2021

Arterial thromboembolic disease

Current use of CHC (combined hormonal contraception) is associated with a very small increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and ischaemic stroke that appears to be greater with higher doses of estrogen in COC.

Women should be informed that current use of CHC is associated with an increased risk of MI and ischaemic stroke but that that these events are still extremely uncommon in CHC users.

Use of CHC by women with significant additional risk factors for arterial disease should be strongly cautioned or avoided


  • FSRH (July 2019). Combined Hormonal Contraception