You’ve heard the warnings: women who smoke while taking oral contraceptives have a higher risk of developing potentially deadly blood clots, stroke and heart disease.
Now, Israeli doctors believe that a 23-year-old woman who collapsed Monday may have died as a result of smoking while taking birth control pills.
The woman from the southern town of Kiryat Malachi – whose name hospital officials have not released – exhibited no early warning signs nor did she have a preexisting condition that could have led to her sudden death, the Israeli website Mako reported.
“She was brought to the hospital after paramedics attempted to resuscitate her at home,” Kaplan Medical Center Spokesman Ofir Levi told TheBlaze by telephone on Tuesday morning. “She was brought to us in critical condition. Doctors tried for a long time to fight for her life.”
Levi said that while taking birth control and smoking is one theory explaining her death, doctors will only know the cause for certain after an autopsy is conducted.
The Mayo Clinic reports that smoking while using birth control pills can lead to an increased chance of blood clots and stroke. It has warned: “Smoking cigarettes during the use of oral contraceptives has been found to greatly increase the chances of these serious side effects occurring.”
“To reduce the risk of serious side effects, do not smoke cigarettes while you are taking oral contraceptives. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from oral contraceptive use. The risk increases with age and with heavy smoking (15 or more cigarettes per day) and is quite marked in women over 35 years of age,” the Mayo Clinic added.
Canadian health officials said in June that they had received reports of at least 23 young Canadian women who had died while taking the birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin. “More than half the reported deaths were in women younger than 26, including one who was 14,” CTV News reported in June.
Israeli medical officials have not said what brand contraceptive the woman who died on Monday was taking.