Birth control pills with an increased health risk are prescribed more often

Birth control pills with an increased health risk are prescribed more often

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Fewer young women use contraceptive pills

A current evaluation of routine data from Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) has shown that the proportion of young women who use contraceptive pills is steadily declining. It was also found that more pills with higher risk were prescribed.

As the TK writes in a message on the “Day of the contraceptive pill”, only 48 percent, and thus less than half of the TK-insured women between 16 and 19 years, were prescribed the pill in 2018. In 2013 and 2014 it was 60 percent.

Regulations declined the most among 19-year-olds

The regulations declined the most among 19-year-olds. In 2013, 74 percent received at least one contraceptive prescription, compared to 59.5 percent in 2018. The evaluated data were from TK insured persons up to 19 years of age, because in the evaluation period the statutory health insurance companies paid for the pill up to this age (in the meantime, the costs are reimbursed up to the age of 22).

"A prerequisite for prescribing a pill is a comprehensive gynecological examination including breast control and a vaginal smear", explains the professional association of gynecologists (BVF) on the portal "gynecologists online".

Higher risk of thrombosis

The evaluation also showed that in 2018, with 48 percent of all TK-insured pill users up to 19 years of age, slightly more young women took pills from the newer generations, i.e. the 3rd and 4th generation, than pills from the 1st and 2nd generation (46th Percent). The preparations of the newer generations are considered to be riskier because they have a higher risk of thrombosis overall.

In 2015, the TK drew attention to the pill report that some pharmaceutical companies with clever marketing messages circumvented the ban on advertising prescription drugs in order to attract young women to their products. At that time, the main criticism was that the pills of the newer generation were associated with a certain lifestyle and that supposed effects on skin and hair were brought to the fore.

“Even if the campaigns have now been adjusted, the new figures show that the topic is far from being off the table. Because new doesn't always mean better, the social discussion should continue, ”said TK boss Dr. Jens Baas.

Tim Steimle, pharmacist and head of pharmaceuticals at TK added: “The pill certainly prevents unwanted pregnancy, but is also a drug with side effects and not a lifestyle preparation. It is therefore important to us that young women discuss and weigh up risks with their doctor. "

Fewer drugs with drospirenone prescribed

However, the data also show that there is a sharp decline in pills with the progestin drospirenone. Birth control pills usually contain two hormone components, an estrogen and a progestogen. Drospirenone was particularly criticized because of the increased risk of thrombosis.

"We see that across all age groups up to 19 years old, only less than two percent of users are prescribed a pill with drospirenone, compared to 18 percent in 2010. In our view, this is a positive development, ”said Steimle. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Techniker Krankenkasse (TK): Day of the contraceptive pill: Regulations go back significantly, (accessed: 18.08.2019), Techniker Krankenkasse (TK)
  • Professional association of gynecologists (BVF): PILLE / ANTI-BABY-PILLE, (access: August 18, 2019), gynecologists online

Video: What Birth Control Did to My Body side effects and more (July 2022).


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