'Lose weight' warning for obese women on Pill

GPs should warn overweight women who are on the Pill to lose weight or face being switched to a different form of contraception.

Speaking at the MIMS Women’s Health conference, Dr Anne Szarewski, an associate family planning specialist at The Margaret Pyke Centre, London, said obese women should be taken off the Pill due to increased risk of venous thromboembolic events (VTEs).

It is currently estimated that 28% of women use oral contraception (OC) as their main method of preventing pregnancy. But Dr Szarewski said rising obesity may leave very few people suitable for the Pill.

‘I think being obese is a very strong contraindication for being on the Pill,’ she said.

GPs should warn women who are overweight that they may have to come off the Pill if they put on any more weight.

‘Most patients are desperate to stay on the Pill, so it is important to give them enough warning before they become too obese.’

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

  • See this week’s GP dated 3 April for the full version of this story.
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