Birth control pills and Covid-19 vaccine risks

As Thailand’s vaccination rollout begins, the risks associated with women’s health have become a hot topic for discussion.

The conversations took centre stage after a Thai woman, Mrs. Naririn Angthong passed away two weeks after receiving a Covid-19 vaccination. The cause of death is speculated to be blood clotting in her lungs caused by the vaccine reacting with contraceptive pills.

We summarise the recommendations by physicians and gynaecologists in Thailand, with regards to heightened hormone levels due to oral contraception and the risks that come with receiving a Covid-19 vaccine.

Recent Covid-19 updates:

Women advised to stop birth control pills 14 days before Covid-19 vaccine

Women who take birth control pills are at a higher risk of getting blood clots due to the increased level of hormones from the medication, said Dr. Siraya Kitiyodom from Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital in a livestream session discussing the death of 32-year-old Mrs. Angthong.

The patient passed away on 27th May 2021 at Hat Yai Hospital.

dr siriya
Image credit: TNN Online

While Mrs. Angthong’s death happened two weeks after receiving a Covid-19 shot, medical authorities have yet to confirm a direct link between the Covid-19 vaccine and the increased risk of blood clots for women who use contraceptive pills, added Dr. Kitiyodom.

Hence, women who worry about the possible side effects of Covid-19 vaccine are advised to hit pause on the pill and turn to other birth control methods for the time being, according to Bangkok Post.

contraceptive pills
Image is used for illustration purposes only
Image credit: Sanook

Dr. Thiravat Hemachudha has also given a similar statement, advising women to stop taking the pills at least 14 days before their Covid-19 vaccination via his Facebook page. The doctor is the head of the Centre for Emerging Disease Health Sciences at Chulalongkorn University.

Those who are on migraine medication are also advised to do the same although risks of side effects from the Covid-19 vaccine remain low, added Dr. Hemachudha.

Taking precautions against Covid-19 vaccine risks

Ever since Thailand opened its Covid-19 vaccine registration for citizens above 18 in high risk areas, many have been rushing to secure an appointment for the jab.

Whilst the risk of side effects from the Covid-19 vaccines remain low, going through the facts available to us is still an important pre-vaccination step – just to ensure that we’ll get to the finish line safely.

Covid-19 related news:

Cover images adapted from (L-R): Pixabay, SCG Foundation

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