According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 85 percent of all strokes are “ischemic.” That means the blood flow to the brain is blocked – either by blood clots, or by fatty deposits in blood vessel linings called plaque.
Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, long periods of physical inactivity and a family history of stroke. Use of birth control pills can increase the risk of the blood clots that trigger ischemic strokes.
While all birth control pills can increase the risk of stroke, a number of studies show that pills with the synthetic hormone drospirenone can increase that risk up to three times compared to other contraceptives on the market. Pills with drospirenone include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.
But ischemic strokes aren’t the only type.
There’s also the hemorrhagic stroke, which happens when a blood vessel bursts in the brain. In those circumstances, blood from the burst vessel accumulates and compresses the surrounding brain tissue.
The hemorrhagic stroke comes in two varieties.
The intracerebral hemorrhage, the most common type, happens when an artery in the brain bursts and floods the surrounding tissue with blood.
The subarachnoid hemorrhage is characterized by bleeding in the area between the brain and the surrounding tissues.
Another type is the transient ischemic attack, also known as a “warning stroke” or a “mini-stroke.” Though a TIAs result in no lasting damage, recognizing and treating them immediately can reduce the risk of a major stroke.
Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries while on Beyaz or similar birth control pills.
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