iddyvegas (iddyvegas) wrote in vaginapagina,

Migraines, Auras, The Pill, and Strokes

A while ago I went to a sexual health clinic to get a script for birth control. The doctor asked if I had ever had a migraine, and I told her that I've gotten some fairly bad headaches before, but I could usually pinpoint the cause (lack of sleep, dehydration, no coffee in the morning). She asked if any of them had any visual symptoms/aura. I told her no, but once when I was about 10 or so, I saw some weird swirly/sparkles, and when I told my mom about it she thought I was getting a migraine, but I never actually got a headache.

The doctor seemed concerned, and told me that there was a study that showed women who get migraines with aura are significantly more likely to get a stroke on hormonal birth control than other women. She said she would still write me the script if I wanted, it was my choice, but she wanted me to be informed because it may apply to me. We talked a bit more and decided it was worth going on for the benefits. I got a three month script for Alesse (she said it was one of the lower doses, so safer) to try out.

Fast-forward and I'm back at the office for a renewal. I tolerated it very well, no issues.

This time, however, I get a different doctor. He asks the same questions, I tell him the same thing. "You can't have hormonal birth control. If you saw an aura, you have an 800 times greater chance of having a stroke." I was stunned. He suggested the progesterone-only pill would be safe, but I had already decided that wasn't a good fit for me.

So now I'm asking, does anyone know any more about this? I've searched online (and on this site), but I can't seem to find any hard numbers or the actual original study, just 'increased risk'. I haven't found ANYTHING that used the number 800. And I just saw an 'aura' once, without a headache - does anyone know if the study applies to me?

Thank you for your time. I know I should go back and talk to a doctor again, but I can't bring myself to. I felt so stupid in that room, like I had no business being there.

EDIT: I have an appointment to go back to the clinic to talk to another doctor. I'm feeling a lot more confident and prepared to discuss my situation now. Thank you all for the replies! I was really upset - you have no idea how much your info, opinions, and experiences helped. This place is wonderful!
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