Pill risk for obese women, GPs told

GPs should warn overweight women who are using oral contraception to lose weight or face being switched to another contraceptive, an expert has said.

Speaking at the MIMS Women's Health conference, Dr Anne Szarewski, clinical consultant at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and a family planning specialist, said obese women should not use oral contraception due to increased risk of venous thromboembolic events.

It is estimated that 28 per cent of women use oral contraception as their main method of preventing pregnancy.

But Dr Szarewski said rising obesity may leave few women suitable. '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 stop using oral contraception 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,' Dr Szarewski said.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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