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Yes, tragically, women die while pregnant or postpartum. They die from a variety of reasons other than a VTE. That’s why it’s important to use some sort of birth control and to be as healthy as possible if you want to conceive.
Using the number of pregnancies in 2013 and calculating that there are 1.1 deaths due to a VTE per 100,000 births. It is estimated that there were 39 deaths due to a VTE in 2013 during pregnancy and postpartum.
This number is far lower than the 307 women we calculated to have died in our analysis of women on CHCs. The lower number of deaths for may be due to several factors. One factor being that James’ study was of births, not pregnancies. The number of deliveries is most likely lower than the number of all women who become pregnant. Another factor might be that the number of deaths reported on the CDC website for maternal mortality is of pregnant women includes women who died up to one full year after giving birth, which would result in higher totals.
Our earlier calculations estimate that there were an average of 307 deaths due to Pulmonary Embolisms while on CHCs. (see All Calculations for CHCs Injuries and Deaths in 2013)