progestogen only pill and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk

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  • based on the current evidence, the progestogen-only pill is probably a suitable alternative to the combined oral contraceptive pill in women still wishing to use an oral preparation when the combined oral contraceptive pill is contraindicated because of cardiovascular risk factors - however these women still need to be carefully screened and monitored
  • the limited available evidence does not support an association between cardiovascular disease and use of a POP (2)

Note though that in women with congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS)(3)

  • study evidence has shown that that progestin-only OC (oral contraceptive) was associated with a pronounced 2.8-fold increased risk of CEs (cardiac events) in women who did not receive beta-blocker therapy, while beta-blockers were highly protective during progestin-only OC treatment

Reference:

  1. FSRH (March 2015). Progestogen-only pills.
  2. Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (2000);38 (1): 1-4.
  3. Abu-Zeitone A. et al. Oral contraceptive use and the risk of cardiac events in patients with long QT syndrome.Heart Rhythm. 2021; 11: 1170-1175

Last edited 10/2021 and last reviewed 10/2021

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