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Cosmetic surgery and birth control

Patients often aren't aware that they may need to stop taking their birth control pill before undergoing a cosmetic surgery procedure. We asked MYA's lead clinic Nurse, Dawn, to explain why.

May 5th, 2020 |Ask an Expert

Do I have to stop taking birth control medication before surgery?

Lead clinic Nurse, Dawn, explains:

  • We do not routinely advise all patients to discontinue the contraceptive pill, the decision to stop your combined or progesterone only contraceptive pill depends on your surgeon's requirements.

  • This will be discussed at your Nurse ePre op appointment, if you have any further questions or concerns please consult your GP or family planning clinic. 

  • Patients who are undergoing an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) must have stopped taking HRT or combined contraceptive pill and progesterone only based medication at least four weeks prior to surgery.

  • Patients will be required to take a routine pregnancy test on the day of their procedure.

When discontinuing the contraception pill, it is important to abstain from sexual intercourse or you must use another form of contraception such as a condom. 

For more advice on contraception, please consult the NHS website by following this link https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/ .

Why do I need to stop taking the pill before my operation?

Taking the contraceptive pill or HRT medication increases your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or getting a blood clot in your leg. Having a general anaesthetic also increases this risk so it is important to discontinue these medications prior to surgery. 

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