CHCs are the most widely prescribed contraceptive methods; however, their use is associated with significant cardiovascular risk for women with some medical conditions and risk factors. The researchers did this study to assess the potential change in CHC prescribing among higher-risk women following the UKMEC.

The present research was a cross-sectional study using the General Practice Research Database to analyze UK women prescribed CHCs. Of women who specified CHCs, those at higher risk of cardiovascular events were identified.

The percentage of higher-risk CHC users significantly decreased by 0.8% following the publication of UKMEC. 1 74 472 women in the UK were prescribed CHCs despite having Category 3 or 4 risk factors. The most common Category, three or four risk factors, were body mass index ≥35 kg/m2, hypertension, and smoking in women.

The study concluded that despite the observed reduction in prescribing of CHCs to higher-risk women after the publication of UKMEC, a large number of women with Category 3 or 4 risk factors are still specified CHCs. The increased risk of cardiovascular events is unnecessary for many of these women, given the availability of alternative contraceptive methods.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/39/3/190