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What is the combined pill?

The combined pill has been linked to DVT and in some cases deaths. Credit: PA

With concerns raised about links between the contraceptive pill and deep vein thrombosis, ITV News explains which pill it might affect and how to check if you are on it.

  • What is the combined pill?

The combined pill is an oral female contraception commonly referred to as "the pill".

It contains artificial versions of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which women produce naturally in their ovaries.

When taken correctly it prevents 99% of pregnancies.

  • How can I check if I am on it?

The combined pill is taken for 21 days followed by a seven-day break during which time you have a period.

It is different to the "mini-pill" which is taken every day.

If you have concerns about the contraceptive pill you might be on contact your local GP or visit the NHS website for advice.

Women share their experiences of pill side effects

Young women have been sharing their experiences of using the contraceptive pill with ITV News.

Over 150 said that they had experienced some side effects, and 99 of them said they had blood clots.

It comes as the parents of two women, whose deaths have been linked to the combined pill, call for more awareness of the risks and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis.

RCGP pledge action on raising pill and DVT risk awareness

The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) has pledged action to remind all GPs to be alert to the risks of the deep vein thrombosis on the back of an ITV News investigation into recent deaths linked to the contraceptive pill.

Dr Helen Stokes Lampard told ITV News the contraceptive pill provides an extremely safe and highly effective method of contraception, but that in rare cases where DVTs and pulmonary embolisms occurred, GPs needed to be alert to what the symptons were.

GPs and practice nurses are highly trained in how to issue and dispense medication for contraception and they should all have a clear understanding that deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are one of the most serious risks associated with any combined contraceptives so already they should be trained but a reminder that this is an issue is always timely.

– Dr Helen Stokes Lampard, the Royal College of GPs

The RCGP will now send out a memo in its weekly blog to over 50,000 GPs.

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BMA chief prepared to 'stand aside' to get strike resolution

The head of the British Medical Association's junior doctors' committee, has told ITV News tonight that he would be prepared to "stand aside" if it would lead to a solution to the current dispute over contracts.

Doctor Johann Malawana said what he wants to see "is a solution to this problem" as the situation appeared to have remained unchanged after day two of the first 'all out' NHS England strike in history.

ITV News health editor Rachel Younger reports.

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