Contraindications to Combined Hormonal Contraception

The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP), often referred to as the birth control pill, or simply “the Pill,” is a combination of an estrogen (oestrogen) and a progestin (progestogen), taken by mouth to inhibit normal female fertility.

You may increase your risk to problems related to COCP if you have:

  • Blood clots or history of blood clots
  • A history of stroke or heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Known or suspected breast cancer, or cancer of uterus, cervix or vagina
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin) during pregnancy or during previous use of the pill
  • Liver tumor
  • Known or suspected pregnancy
  • A planned surgery with prolonged bed-rest
  • Though not listed by the FDA, most clinicians consider smoking in someone older than 35 to be a contraindication. The World Health Organization (WHO) does list this as a contraindication.