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Contraindications & Contraceptive Use in Women Vets

Am J Obstet Gynecol; ePub 2017 Oct 27; Judge, et al

There is a high burden of medical contraindications to estrogen among women veterans at risk of unintended pregnancy, and these women are less likely to use combined hormonal contraceptive methods, and more likely to use no method, according to a recent study. The secondary analysis included a national sample of 2,302 female Veterans (aged 18 to 45 years) who use the Veterans Administration Healthcare System for primary care. 7 contraindications to combined hormonal contraception were identified: hypertension; coronary artery disease (CAD); active migraine in women aged >35 years or migraine with aura; smoking in women aged >35 years; and history of thromboembolism, stroke, or breast cancer. Among the findings:

  • Among 1,169 women Veterans at risk of unintended pregnancy, 339 (29%) had at least 1 contraindication to combined hormonal contraception.
  • The most prevalent conditions were hypertension (15%) and migraine (8.7%).
  • Women with contraindications were less likely than women without contraindications to report use of combined hormonal contraception.
  • Relative to use of combined hormonal contraception, women with contraindications were more likely than women without contraindications to use other prescription methods, non-prescription methods, and no methods.


Judge CP, Zhao X, Sileanu FE, Mor MK, Borrero S. Medical contraindications to estrogen and contraceptive use among women Veterans. [Published online ahead of print October 27, 2017]. Am J Obstet Gynecol. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2017.10.020.