A mother was left partially paralysed after suffering a stroke caused by the contraceptive pill.
Issy Fox, 28, had been taking the Pill for three months when she started feeling unwell and noticed she was slurring her words.
She went to hospital where tests revealed a stroke in the right frontal lobe of her brain, leaving her left hand, arm and part of her face paralysed.
Doctors identified the Pill as the cause after checks on her family history and tests showed she was otherwise healthy.
Miss Fox said: ‘All the tests showed no other reason. The only thing that had recently changed was the fact I had gone on the Pill three months before. I had to come off it straight away. I was really scared I was going to be disabled forever.’
Miss Fox, who has a one-year-old son Freddie with her partner Liam Connolly, 28, had been out for lunch with her mother Rhiannon on February 8 when she noticed she was mumbling, her left shoulder had dropped and her arm was too weak to lift.
The part-time business support officer said: ‘I had had this perfectly normal day. We came home and the next thing I couldn’t speak.
‘My mum said my whole face just dropped. She said, “are you having a stroke?” and I said, “I think so”.
‘But it was still a shock when they told me in A&E that I’d had a stroke. I just didn’t think they were talking about me.’
Miss Fox, from Crewe, added: ‘I’m coming to terms with it now. At first I just felt shock. I was dealing with the physical side-effects, such as the paralysed hand, the paralysed face, the fatigue.
‘Now it’s more the mental side-effects. It has been a real struggle emotionally. There was a lot of anger, and “why me?”, stuff like that. Now it’s just a case of going forward and doing what I can.’
Although she is recovering well, Miss Fox said the stroke has left her with a ‘wonky smile’ and feeling self-conscious about her looks.
She added: ‘The first couple of weeks my smile was horrendously crooked and I would slur a lot. Now it is just a case of being patient.
‘Waking up and realising again that your face doesn’t work is just really emotionally draining. It just takes time.’
She wants to make more women aware of the potential side-effects of taking the Pill and is raising money for the Stroke Association by taking part in a 5km charity run.
She said: ‘Raising awareness is really important. Not a lot of women know that a stroke is one of the risks associated with taking hormonal contraception.’
The Stroke Association’s Sarah Adderley said Miss Fox was proof strokes can affect young and old alike. ‘One in four strokes actually happen to people of a working age like Issy,’ she added.