The family of Sophie Murray have called on pharmaceutical companies to make the risks clearer to people using the Pill.
It comes after an inquest heard that the common contraceptive pill was a contributing factor in the tragic death of ‘healthy and happy’ 16-year-old girl Sophie.
Sophie, of Queens Road West, Accrington, had started to complain of breathlessness and chest pain on returning from a family holiday to Gran Canaria.
Accrington Academy pupil Sophie later died after being rushed to hospital having ‘suffered a fit’. The hearing was told that Sophie died of a pulmonary embolism due to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and a contributory factor was the oral contraceptive pill.
Only six out of every 10,000 women on the contraceptive pill develop DVT, compared to only two in 10,000 without the pill, and the inquest was told that fatalities are ‘extremely rare’.
The family say that Sophie had started to take the Pill to control her period cycles.
Her stepdad Billy Dearden said he believed that the flight had triggered a reaction as Sophie had been on the Pill for a number of months.
Billy, 39, said: “[The risks] should be made aware to all women using the Pill and especially youngsters. A lot of mothers do put their daughters on the Pill because of their cycle and they should be made aware that it can happen to healthy young girls as well.
“We don’t want anyone to have to go through what we’ve gone through.
“No parent in the world should have to bury their own child.”
Billy, and Sophie’s mum Shelley, said they were not told about any dangers or potential side-effects involving flights abroad.
Shelley, who works with adults with learning difficulties, has urged contraceptive pill manufacturers and doctors to issue clearer warnings.
She said: “Sophie developed really early and did have really bad pains in her stomach and her cycles were really heavy.
“There must be loads of girls like that.
“They should be given a bigger leaflet with bigger writing and clearer information for the Pill and doctors should stress to you to read it.”
A spokesman for Bayer which produces Microgynon, which Sophie was taking, said “At this sad time, our thoughts are with Sophie’s family.
“Bayer takes the safety of its products very seriously and continuously reviews the safety profiles of its products.
“Bayer investigates reports on side effects thoroughly and collaborates closely with regulatory authorities concerning the use, benefits and risks of all products.
“Bayer has also complied with regulations to update the product information provided on the combined hormonal contraceptives (CHCs), including the package leaflet, to help women make informed decisions about their choice of contraception together with their healthcare professionals.
“CHCs, like Microgynon, are among the most systematically studied and widely used medical products available today. Based on a thorough assessment of the available scientific data by regulatory authorities, outside independent experts and Bayer scientists, Microgynon is considered effective and overall, has a favourable benefit-risk profile when used appropriately.
“Risk of blood clots is slightly increased for women taking CHCs when compared with non-users.
“This is a well-known class effect of all CHCs as is clearly stated in the patient information leaflet of CHCs. The risk however of blood clots in a woman taking a CHC is smaller than the risk of clots associated with pregnancy.
“Physicians are well informed of the very small increase in risk of VTE with OC usage, and women should discuss their own medical history and known risk factors with their healthcare professional to determine the contraceptive method best suited to their individual circumstances.”