Apparently, Factor V Leiden is the most common hereditary blood coagualtion disorder in the United States. It is present in 5% of the Caucasian population and 1.2% of the African American population. (Or so it says on http://www.fvleiden.org/.)
Those who have Factor V Leiden are at higher risk of blood clots. And, those people who take oral contraceptives and have Factor V are at an even higher risk. Hmmm. Not good.
My mom has it. My brother has it. My sister has it. Yet, for whatever reason, I have yet to actually get my butt to the lab to get checked out. (The odds are certainly against me.)
As I was reading an article on www.msnbc.com today about a group of women who are suing the makers of Ortho Evra (claiming that the birth control patch caused blood clots, serious illness to many women and the death of at least one), I was once again reminded of the seriousness of my situation.
To take the pill or to not take the pill?
Since I originally starting taking the pill for health reasons (i.e. I used to vomit about 10 times a day my first day every month), I am extremely nervous about calling it quits on my Ortho Tri Cyclen low. At the same time, however, the risks of blood clots are certainly very real as well. ("For young women with the factor V Leiden mutation, taking birth control pills increases the risk of thrombosis thirty-five (35) times compared with the risk of those who are not carriers of this mutation" – http://www.proadn.com)
What do you think? Any opinions out there?