Jordan Ward, a 26-year-old Chicago woman who was in the middle of planning her wedding, nearly died in March because the birth control pills she was taking caused a severe blood clot in her brain, KABC TV reports.
Ward began experiencing headaches, blurred vision and nausea but brushed it off. It was her fiance who encouraged Ward to go to a doctor. Ward initially was told that she had migraines and was sent home, but after she went back, a CAT scan revealed “a large clot blocked a network of veins in her brain,” KABC TV explained.
A neurovascular doctor said that birth control pills contain hormones that increase the chances of dangerous blood clots forming, a possibility that is exacerbated when a woman smokes. Ward smoked.
“The brain swelling can become severe enough that somebody can be thrown into a coma. They can even die,” Dr. George Teitelbaum, the medical director of the Providence Neurovascular Center, said.
Ward had the clot removed and is back to planning her wedding. Ward says she hopes her experience will encourage women to talk to their doctor about their options, and understand the do’s and don’ts of the contraception they’re taking.
“I would just want people to really read those label signs. Listen, dig deeper, try to gain an understanding, because you could save your own life,” Ward said.
Teitelbaum advises women to stop smoking and drinking excessive alcohol and to stay hydrated when taking oral contraceptives.
Read more at KABC TV.