Birth Control Pill and Previous Stroke

Specialties Ob/Gyn


Hey, can someone possibly answer this one for me? Yes, I have a call into my doctor about this, but I wanted to ask here just for information.

Five years ago, I had a fall down the stairs (head went into a door frame) which resulted in a skull fx, concussion, which required a craniotomy for the removal of a large subdural hematoma (and that was just my head! I had numerous other fxs). When I woke up from the coma (which lasted a week), I had an expressive aphasia, was paralyzed on my rt side. Through therapy I had regained most functions back. However, a few weeks after I was sent home, I had a postop stroke affecting my rt side. I have an arteriogram, and although I had 2 strokes, they couldn't find any real damage.

Since then I've recovered 95%, and I'm left with only residuals that I notice. This is truly a miracle. Now, I'm possibly getting married at the end of this year and I'm wondering what we could use for birth control. Since I have endometriosis, I'd like to use BCPs. I read about the insertion of the IUD, and no way... not doing that. My question is, since the stroke wasn't caused by organic causes such as arteriosclerosis, would this prevent use of BCP's due to the risk of another stroke?

It takes my doctor's office soooo long to answer. Hopefully I'll have an answer by the end of this week, but my bf is curious about what we could use.

Thanks for your replies!

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

97 Articles; 21,237 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

I would think (IMHO) that you would want to avoid hormones if at all possible. IUD's aren't bad at all - however, are best suited for women that have had a child. There is always the old barrier methods too - not the best, but certainly better than nothing. I think I would talk with your neurologist as well as you OB/GYN. Take care.


1,907 Posts

Specializes in OB, lactation.

Sorry, I don't know the answer to your question. I would like to hear the answer though. Will you please share what your doctor says when you find out?


1,804 Posts

I would stay away from hormones. I am glad to hear you are doing so well. You must be a really strong person.


1,987 Posts

Sorry, I don't know the answer to your question. I would like to hear the answer though. Will you please share what your doctor says when you find out?

I will do that, as I have an appt later this week. Thanks for your responses so far! :)


1,987 Posts

I'm going in today and I'll let you know what I find out. I absolutely HATE GYN appts. I really can't see how some women can make nothing out of it. I just feel so violated afterwards. Call me insane, or whatever, but that's how I feel. My uncle molested me when I was younger and 18 months ago I was involved in a forced sexual situation.

But I need to get some help. I'm in agony.:o


157 Posts

Speaking from the point of somebody whose wife suffered a Right CVA in 2000, attributed entirely to BCP, I would strongly advise against it. I would definitely be interested in what OB/GYN has to say on the matter.


1,987 Posts

OK, I finally got the answer to the question. Sorry that it took a while, but it's been a busy few weeks. Now if only I could remember what she said.. um.. just kidding. :)

She said that the risk of using an oral birth control bill would make the risk a little higher for me. The problem comes from the pill going through the liver, that's where the clotting factor becomes a problem. She did say that I would be a candidate for either the IUD or Nuvaring. It acts locally and won't improve my chances for a rebleed. I think I'm going to start out with Nuvaring and see how that goes. If I have any problems, I think I might go with an IUD. I'm still concerned about it's insertion though. :uhoh21:

Anyhow, that's the answer to the question. I guess it might not come up that much since I wasn't at the age in which strokes normally happen (I was 31 at the time).

BTW, thank you all for the PMs. I didn't realize that this might be such an inspiring post! Thank you all for your kind words. :)


1,987 Posts

OK, I'm a little confused here. I started the NuvaRing today and I looked at the package information. I'm the type of person who reads EVERYTHING about medications, even the stuff made for physicians. Anyhow, I read about all the possible adverse reactions, and they list the possibility of stroke... if you've had one before that you should tell your physician before starting NuvaRing.

What bothers me is that I did tell my doctor about my concerns about starting oral birth control pills and my risk for stroke. This is why I started on NuvaRing because she told me that it works locally, that it doesn't get metabolized through the liver and it wouldn't possibly cause a stroke. According to the literature accompanying the Ring, the risk is still the same.

I'm a little upset. I don't want to go through what I did five years ago again. I'm trusting her decision as I'm NOT the one who went through med school. I think I'm back to square one. For several reasons, I don't think I'm going back to her after my insurance changes. I might go with the IUD if it doesn't have the same possibilities for a repeat CVA.


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