Yesterday I went to the good old gynecologist for an annual exam. (Really what I care about is that she write me a script for the pill. No little Franks or Courtneys just yet.)
Things were going swimmingly until she asked me about my migraines and what happened when I got one. I told her that sometimes its just really hurty, sometimes I get an aura, but others I see flashing lights or have other visual disruptions (ocular or retinal migraine). (I can actually draw the shapes of the flashes I see sometimes and I actually lose a chunk of vision. Apparently that’s bad news.)
She flat out told me no more combination birth control pills for me.
Why? Research indicates that the combination of my particular migraine and the combination pill up the risk of stroke two to four fold. (200-400%) While there are likely different numbers floating around out there, it’s figured that about 4.4 in 100,000 have strokes related to combination pill use. Low yes, but in my (and my doctor’s) estimation, not one to ignore. Especially at four fold which brings that up to a little under 2% of users with ocular migraines.
This isn’t brand spanking new research, but reviews have started taking it seriously enough that my doctor and many of her colleagues are not prescribing combined pills for people with this type of migraines anymore. (I should note that I don’t have any other risks for strokes such as high blood pressure, smoking, etc.)
Look, I’m not a doctor, I don’t even play one on tv, but I thought I’d share this information with you today. Please discuss it with your doctor. You have to do what is right for you, but I’d hate for any of my friends (or even foes) have a stroke.