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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Factor V Leiden thrombophilia


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • APC resistance, Leiden type
  • Hereditary resistance to activated protein C
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Your Question

I have factor V Leiden and was wondering if it's safe to use oral contraceptives. I want to take the pill called Levlin.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Is it safe for someone with factor V Leiden to use oral contraceptives?

In general, it is widely accepted that in women with factor V Leiden, hormones such as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of blood clots. We strongly recommend you speak with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking any sort of contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy.

According to the practice guidelines set forth by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women with familial thrombophilic syndromes, including factor V Leiden mutation, have an increased risk of venous thromboembolism during oral contraceptive use and also developing venous thromboembolism earlier during use than lower risk users. An initial study concluded that women with a factor V Leiden mutation had an eight-fold increased risk of venous thromboembolism than did women without the mutation. The risk was more than 30 times higher in carriers who used oral contraceptives than in non-oral contraceptive users who were not carriers of the mutation. However, most of these women will never experience venous thromboembolism, even if they used combination oral contraceptives.[1]

You can find a list of brand names of oral contraceptives at the following link from MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine Web site designed to help you research your health questions.
Last updated: 9/8/2011

How can I find a hematologist in my community?

The American Society of Hematology has a tool on their Web site to help patients find a hematologist in their area. You can search by location and specialty, such as thrombosis and blood clotting. You can click on the link below to view this search tool.
Last updated: 9/8/2011

How can I find a genetics professional in my area?

Genetics clinics are a source of information for individuals and families regarding genetic conditions, treatment, inheritance, and genetic risks to other family members. More information about genetic consultations is available from Genetics Home Reference. To find a genetics clinic, we recommend that you contact your primary healthcare provider for a referral.

The following online resources can help you find a genetics professional in your community:
Last updated: 10/18/2013

  • ACOG Committee on Practice Bulletins-Gynecology. ACOG practice bulletin. No. 73: Use of hormonal contraception in women with coexisting medical conditions. Obstet Gynecol. 2006; 107(6):1453-72. Accessed 9/8/2011.