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Contraception in overweight adolescents

Gynäkologie & Geburtshilfe

Hormonal contraceptives rank among the most reliable methods of contraception – even for adolescents. When being prescribed for the first time, contraindications as well as risk factors, such as a high body mass index (BMI), should always be kept in mind, as Dr. med. Katarina Sedlecky, Head of the Family Planning Centre at the Health Institute for Mother and Child in Belgrade, Serbia, explains in the interview below.

K. Sedlecky: Venous thromboembolisms (VTE) are rare in women of reproductive age. A BMI > 30kg/m2 triples the risk of VTE and, in combination with combined hormonal contraceptives, the VTE risk is further increased. However, the likelihood of thrombosis in adolescents is very low due to their young age. Excess weight is ultimately only a relative contraindication for the pill. If obesity is the only risk factor, all hormonal contraceptives may be prescribed for teenagers and young women while weighing up the benefits and risks. Caution is advised only if there are other risk factors, such as smoking or advanced age.1

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