A study published in The BMJ today suggests a link between newer contraceptive pills and higher risk of serious blood clots. The finding is not new, but it may be cause for a different kind of concern.

During their fertile years, between three and five women of every 10,000 who are not pregnant and not taking the pill are likely to develop blood clots every year. The research published today found older contraceptive pills double this “background” risk of blood clots, and the newer pills have roughly doubled the risk again.

Several studies published over the past 20 years show very similar findings. What this research brings to the table are larger numbers of women and more careful attention to factors in their medical history that could potentially skew the results.

It’s likely the media will pounce on this story; there will be testimonies from women who have experienced blood clots while taking the pill and a plethora of personal injury lawyers spruiking their business. Women across the world will be scared into stopping their contraception until it all blows over. I know this because I’ve seen it before, and I think that’s what we should be concerned about.