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Have you really taken the time out to read the health risks and follow the directions of your birth control?

In less than two weeks, The pill has been to blame for the causes of stroke, and even death of women under the age of 30. Jordan Ward, 26, suffered a stroke that nearly ended her life and doctors concluded this was triggered by her oral contraceptive. A large blood clot was blocking a network of veins, making it difficult for blood to flow out of her brain. It’s a condition that can trigger a coma and even lead to death. The vast majority of stroke victims are older than 65, so Wards case is very uncommon. however, smoking heightens the risk of blood clots. Jordan Ward happens to be a smoker.

Just this week, 21-year-old Australian, Fallan Kurek, recently died from taking birth control pills which triggered a lung blood clot and heart inflammation. Kurek had only been taking the pills for 25 days! Three weeks after she broke into her first pack, she felt inexplicably breathless, with pain in her legs and ribs. When panic set in, her parents took her to the hospital, where doctors gave her an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check her heart. Doctors predicted that Kurek had bruised her sternum, prescribing ibuprofen and paracetamol (a drug used to lower fevers). Four days later, the pain was just as bad and after waking up and popping her pill, Kurek collapsed on the stairs of her family’s home.

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Scans revealed Kurek had a large clot on her lung, causing the right side of her heart to become inflamed. Kurek, who’d been starved of oxygen on the way to the hospital, was pronounced brain-dead and taken off life support shortly after.

Both stories are truly frightening and extremely sad. It’s important that we make ourselves aware of the possible risks that coincide with birth control, and all other medications we intake. Be honest with your doctors about any habits you may have; smoking, drinking, drugs, etc. Research suggests the risks outweigh the benefits for women who smoke, have high blood pressure, or are over 35 years old. Consider these factors when choosing the best method for you!