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Pill scare: communication conundrum
  1. Lindsay Edouard, FRCOG, FFSRH, Member of the Editorial Advisory Board
  1. Algiers, Algeria
  1. Correspondence to Professor Lindsay Edouard. E-mail: soranae{at}


Adverse publicity for combined oral contraceptives (COCs) has led to pill scares on numerous occasions such as reproductive cancers in 1983 and venous thromboembolism (VTE) in 1995. Misinformation should be avoided, especially through the correct interpretation of relative risk to avoid confusion and decrease unnecessary anxiety. Reassurance is usually important, as the absolute risk is infinitely small. The popular media are very effective for the prompt dissemination of information, and authoritative statements are useful for improving communications with providers, patients and public.

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