Just How Safe is Yaz? Women Need to Know!

The oral contraceptive Yasmin was released in 2001 by the pharmaceutical company Bayer, followed by Yaz in 2006. They differ from other birth control pills in the synthetic progesterone they utilize, drospirenone, which is marketed as less likely to cause weight gain and bloating than other birth control pills. Yaz soon became the most popular birth control pill in the U.S., due in part to a widespread advertising campaign promoting the drug as what the New York Times dubbed “a quality of life treatment,” claiming it could also clear up acne, prevent bloating and ease the depression and anxiety associated with both PMS and the controversial condition of PMDD. It prevents pregnancy at the same rate of effectiveness as all other oral contraceptives.

In 2009, the FDA requested that Bayer distribute a corrective advertisement to counter its aggressively screened commercials that were said to be making misleading assertions about the capabilities of the drug, promoting it for unapproved uses and making light of the more serious health risks (such as blood clots). However, in 2010 the drug remained the second-best-selling Bayer product, bringing in $1.5 billion in sales.

As of January 2012, there are approximately 10,000 lawsuits against Bayer by women who have suffered blood clots and by the families of those women who have died whilst taking Yaz or Yasmin. It is considered the most complained-about drug on the Internet, with thousands of women voicing concerns in online forums and support groups over health issues both physical and emotional. Jane Bennett and Alexandra Pope, authors of The Pill: Are You Sure It’s for You?, characterize many of these problems as “quality-of-life-threatening.” I have written extensively on my own experience with Yasmin in my blog, Sweetening the Pill, and for the UK Independent and have been quoted in Fabulous magazine the Washington Post

Two studies conducted with funding from Bayer revealed that Yaz and Yasmin held no higher risk of blood clots than other birth control pills. However, last month it was revealed that five other studies undertaken independent of Bayer suggested a 50-to-75 percent increased risk of clots for those taking these birth control pills in comparison to others. A former FDA commissioner, David Kessler, charged that Bayer deliberately withheld data about this early on in order to push through the drugs’ approvals. In response, the FDA called an advisory committee to evaluate the safety of birth control pills containing drospirenone. The decision had the potential to cause the drugs to be pulled off the market, but the panel voted by a four-person margin that the drugs’ benefit outweighed the risks.

Yet a government watchdog group, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), conducted an independent investigation that revealed three of the advisors on the FDA panel had research or other financial ties to Bayer. A fourth advisor was connected to manufacturing the generic version of these pills. All four voted for Yaz and Yasmin to continue to be prescribed by doctors. POGO asked the FDA that a new advisory committee be brought together to make another assessment.

Should these developments impact women’s perspective on the birth control pill? Should we consider that use of the Pill for pregnancy prevention, let alone acne or PMS, is still today, as women’s health activist Barbara Seaman wrote in her 1969 book The Doctors’ Case Against the Pill, “like tinkering with nuclear bombs to fight off the common cold”?

Says Ms. blogger Elizabeth Kissling, professor of communication and women’s and gender studies at Eastern Washington University and past president of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research:

I’m surprised there has not been a broader call for more research, or wider public discussions of the risks of this pill. When a drug company is withholding data and 10,000 lawsuits are pending, more than research is needed. I can’t help but wonder why we’re not seeing Congressional hearings–akin to the 1970 Nelson Pill Hearings–again, and more of an outcry from both physicians and patients.

Much of the media coverage of these recent developments and research was quick to assert the unimportance of women’s concerns. It was repeatedly reported that, when compared to the risk of blood clot development associated with pregnancy, the risk produced by taking any oral contraceptive–including Yasmin or Yaz–is of little concern. This is misleading in that it suggests there are only two states in which young women can choose to live: on birth control pills or pregnant. The fear has been voiced that any discussion of the negative impact of the Pill will prompt women to come off of it and fall unintentionally pregnant. No coverage that this writer has read discussed a comparison with non-hormonal contraceptive alternatives–which, of course, hold no increased risk of blood clots. Some of these alternatives are just as effective in preventing pregnancy as oral contraceptives, and others are more so.

According to Laura Wershler, veteran pro-choice sexual and reproductive health advocate and board director of the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health,

We need to reframe the idea that hormonal birth control is the gold standard of contraception. If women are quitting the Pill, and they have every right to do so, and they are not using alternative methods of birth control effectively, that’s proof positive that what we are teaching about contraception is incomplete and ineffective. If we make the Pill the ‘right’ choice, then why should we be upset when women stop taking it and get pregnant?

It is often claimed within news stories that the Pill “regulates” a woman’s menstrual cycle, when it, in fact, stops and replaces the cycle. All of this propaganda for the Pill is extremely misleading, and it further breeds a lack of confidence to know that Bayer paid women’s magazines to advocate for Yaz. Such actions blind women to their choices and to understanding how their bodies work. There is much research that supports the health benefits of consistent (typically monthly) ovulation, which can be found through the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research.

The absence of education in body literacy is a major factor in unwanted pregnancies. However, this lack of education is beneficial to some: It helps sustain the billion-dollar profits of pharmaceutical companies.

Photo is the cover of The Pill: Are You Sure It’s for You?

Comments

  1. http://menstruationresearch.org/2012/02/13/why-cant-we-criticize-the-pill/

    Today, the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research posted my piece entitled ‘Why can’t we criticize the Pill?’ – I am very glad Ms. magazine is supporting critical and honest discussion of our birth control choices, especially in the current climate.

    • Yes, thanks Holly and MS magazine. I think it’s a very positive sign for women and girls that we are talking more about problems with the pill and true informed choice. Given that we need contraception for decades of our life information, education and genuine choice are crucial for womens’ health and wellbeing rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

    • Yes, I began taking the pill at age 17 and two months after I began I developed a pulmonary embolism. I was in extreme pain and was very close to dying. I am thankful that I am alive today, although this pill has ruined my life. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks, on blood thinners for 8 months in which I had to be extremely cautious so I wouldn’t bleed out, and I had to sleep in a chair for about 4 months due to the pain in my lungs. After this I had a ton of doctors appointments with multiple specialists for my blood and lungs. Because I was only 17 specialists did not want to see me because I was not 18 and children’s doctors didn’t deal with pulmonary embolisms, and it was very hard for me to find a doctor who would accept me. As I recovered I developed asthma which was hard for me to deal with because I am a swimmer. Today I am 21 and I still have problems with my lungs and still develop pleurisy, which as you may know is extremely painful. I am so glad that people are becoming more aware of the problems with this drug because I never want anyone to have to go through what I went through!

    • Dianne Ammons says:

      August 27, 2013
      My daughter Anne Ammons was a very healthy 34 year old until she resumed Yaz at a yearly checkup where she complained of bad cramps, menstrual irregularities, and possibly undiagnosed ovarian cysts.
      During the next six months she would experience Yaz’s minor symptoms: hair loss, a lot of weight gain, headaches etc; the health professionals she saw advised her to stay on Yaz; none even an endocrinologist considered Yaz as the culprit. On Nov, 7, 2009 she died in her sleep of a minor heart attack. I , her mother, think that high potassium levels (also a sometimes side effect) were involved; and wonder about ibuprofen having caused some drug interaction; she was prescribed this while on Yaz even though it is contraindicated. My husband and my research even shows that she might have been given a bad batch of Yaz (perhaps with too much drospirenone?). There was a recall during the time she was on Yaz but we know from the dates involved that no pills already on the pharmacy shelves were actually returned to the company, and that the the State of Maryland does not keep track of who gets which pills. We attended the FDA 2010 Dec. Hearing on Yaz where we found many examples of prejudice for the FDA Sponsor Bayer: for example, there was no awareness by the FDA that Bayer’s Study showing Yaz safe in fact did not include any women under age 35; doctors who had had business connections to Bayer were allowed to vote while one who had protested against Yaz and Yazmin was not, due to his prejudice; knowledge of lies to the FDA by Bayer concerning the safety of Yaz that came out during a court case that a judge released for public view were excluded since they did not meet an arbitrary November date submission requirement.

      • I am so sorry for your loss. Our 12 y/o child started taking YAZ samples in 2010 for only two months. Her Yaz was changed after two months because her IRON blood level had dropped so she began taking FemCon. Three months after taking YAZ, she was struck down with a stroke; a very rare event occured in which one of the blood vessels in her brain had developed a clot and ruptured sending blood and spinal fluid into her brain. She recieved medical care relatively quickly as the physician who was “on call” that day and prepped her and drilled burr holes into her skull to drain the blood and fluid. My child was healthy, athletic, and had a passion for life. However, after this event, life changed for all of us. We continue to maintain that YAZ caused a blood clot in her left leg (which was not discovered until 2012) which bypassed her heart and lungs and exploded into her brain. My child cried for two years following this “brain injury” because nobody had discovered the blood clot in her leg until 2012. According to her Vascular Surgeon, the blood clot in the leg was “highly likely” to have been there the whole time tracing back to when she took YAZ. We have also filed a lawsuit against YAZ as our child continues years and years of therapy / recovery.

  2. I am a DES daughter, and because of that was never able to take any form of birth control pill. These days it is moot point for me, as I would be considered “post menopausal.” However I have a daughter, age 27 – and many of my friends are either young enough to be concerned about this or else have daughters that are young enough to need to know. Thank you for looking out for the health of women! Three cheers AND a standing O!

  3. Interesting, I stopped taking Yasmin about 5 yrs ago. Didn’t like how it made me feel. I’m fit and usually feel great, but while taking it, my legs felt sort of heavy and full. As if circulation was compromised.

    • Sourav Bajpai says:

      hello Minium! May I talk to you about this? Skype (sharonsnider84)

    • Dianne Ammons says:

      Good for you! Unfortunately my daughter Anne-in excellent health (she was athletic since teenager hood and had been a physical trainer during her law school years) did not recognize her minor symptoms as Yaz elated. She died suddenly in her sleep from a microscopic heart attack Nov. 9, 2009. I her mother will grieve for the rest of my life; but worst than that is that thousands will continue to die and be handicapped for life since the powers that be-the US FDA, the politicians, state medical examiners, doctors and other scientists do not care enough to stop the carnage. I am very disappointed in our government that is supposed to be by the people and for the people. This is capitalism run a muck.

  4. Holly Grigg-Spall says:

    http://sweeteningthepill.blogspot.com/2012/03/could-furor-over-contraception-spark.html

    Laura Wershler and I have spent the last couple of weeks putting together a considered and practical response to the current birth control furor. Here that is. It’s a guide for women who are fed up with being dismissed from the debate.

  5. Hi. Do you care to share some of this on our new Yasmin & Yaz Blog??
    http://www.yasminandyaz.blogspot.com

    Would love to have this information on there.

    xo

  6. So many young women have injuries from yaz. My heart goes out to a mother who has lost a daughter from a Yaz related stroke or Heart attack. Yazbirthcontrolpillshelpline is here for you

  7. The World Health Organization has classified all types of “The Pill” (estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives) as Group 1 Carcinogens for quite awhile, and severe blood clots are a frequent side-effect. Early prototypes of “The Pill” in the late ’50s caused many women to die.

    There are natural, safer, more medically advanced alternatives to “The Pill,” e.g., Natural Family Planning. Spread the word!

  8. April Tyler says:

    I am tired of everyone ONLY sharing the horrible experiences while taking Yaz. I have been on Yaz for 7 wonderful years. Yaz has been an excellent medication for me. I have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome and my periods were never regular and lasted up to 10 days producing severe blood clots and cramps that would make me curl into a fetal position at anytime during my periods. Since being on Yaz, I have not had any cysts and I have only had 3 periods in these wonderful 7 years. Before I found Yaz, I was BEGGING my Gynocologist to remove my ovaries to stop these problems. If you are scared of the medication, don’t take it. For those people Yaz works for, it is a real blessing.

    • Holly Grigg-Spall says:

      Thanks April, I’m happy for you. The thing is, I want to speak to those women out there who are on these very popular contraceptives and have no idea they might be causing them physical and emotional health problems. I had a terrible experience on Yasmin and it took me two years to realize it was the pill causing the issues. Some women lose much longer, and much more – their partners, their jobs. Most information on hormonal contraceptives is biased to the positive. This makes it very hard for women to believe their pill might be the root of their suffering and prolongs that suffering. With Yaz and Yasmin – some women even become suicidal. So, thank you for sharing your story, but I do believe it is important to counteract the push of the advertising, doctors, friends, society in general with a pushback that provides more information.

    • Hi Sharlotte,
      I’m just wondering how come your using Yaz and yet you have only had 3periods in 7years? I have PCOS as well and my doctor just prescribed YAZ to help me regulate my period thus MORE and not less periods. I’m confused

  9. Hi I started using yaz in 2009 a month bf my wedding,my doc said nothing to me he just prescribed the pills to me,I used the for year and it was perfect,then stopped aft a year to start a family.I just went back on them and I’m very worried about the bloots clots,bcos I had them bf in 2003.I’m havin burning feeling on my left side close to the breast.and I have missed two months periods and I’m still waiting I always take the white pills so that I can have periods every month.nw I’m worried nd this symthom is the same one I had my clots my heart was beating three times faster than a normal heart back in 2003 and I’m only 25 yrs old.wat should I do pls help.

  10. I stopped taking Yaz before the publicized lawsuits brought attention to the higher risk of strokes and blood clots associated with it. I suffered what I thought was tinntitus or an ear infection because of the pounding in my ears; I was having dizzy spells and moments of blurred vision. Truly, until I went to the doctor to have my ear checked only to discover my blood pressure was through the roof, I would never have thought to connect these symptoms to high blood pressure. I had suffered high blood pressure late in my 2nd pregnancy (not before or after– and was monitored for 6 months after baby was born), was healthy and in good shape, and moderately young (37). Of course, I ignored these symptoms for months, not recognizing their danger (arrogantly thinking that because I looked “healthy” and followed “healthy” eating practices that I, indeed, was). The general practitioner who checked my blood pressure didn’t even suggest going off the pill even though I’d said I was taking Yaz. In my own research I read a more general warning that birth control pills can cause high blood pressure and stopped taking Yaz. Within a week, my blood pressure dropped from 160/110ish readings to 110/70ish readings. I look back at the symptoms I was suffering and feel quite fortunate I didn’t have a stroke. I was showing signs that many victims showed. Before Yaz, I used various birth control pills to successfully control my fertility for more than a decade. As a result, it did not occur to me to connect this pill to these symptoms. My concern now is what might the long term effects of Yaz be and/or what did my reaction to Yaz indicate about my overall health (cardiac, circulatory, etc.)?
    The pill is marketed by many doctors as harmless. For many, it very well may be. It’s convenient. But it’s convenience seems to be keeping science from developing other reliable, non-hormonal methods of birth control that may be safer for all, especially for women looking to control their fertility for 20-30 years.
    My non-hormonal birth control came with my husband’s vasectomy: a great option for us at this point in our lives. But I’d really like my two daughters to have broader and safer birth control options to manage their own fertility.

  11. hi,i just had my loop removed and when i went to my gynea he said i have some sumthing like ovaries problem and he prescribed YAZ FOR ME SO NOW READING ALL THIS STORIES THAT MAKES ME SCARED TO EVEN TRY THE PILL AND THE WAY HE EXPLAIN TO ME,HE SAID IT WILL CLEAN MY OVARIES PLZ HELP WHAT MUST I DO?VERY CONFUSED RYT NOW.

  12. I started taking Yaz in January of 2009, I was 16yrs old. The reason I started taking yaz is because I had just introduced my parents to my (still current) boyfriend and my mother wanted us to be careful whilst sexually active! I am now a few months from turning 21, so I was on Yaz for just over 4 and a bit yrs – during this I feel like I can say that I’ve been on one heck of an emotional rollercoaster.

    My Dr prescribed me for yaz, as I did have irregular periods – we thought this was due to me being slightly overweight possibly with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). I was extremely active always running, swimming or rowing. I had no issues taking yaz, I thought it was great – I felt empowered, that in a way I too was taking responsibility for being sexually active, not just relying on my boyfriend to use protection. In 2010, (my final year of high school) I started to become increasingly insecure about my appearance. Sometimes after a long run or a rowing race I found it so difficult to breathe, even hours afterwards. I already had pre-existing anxiety issues which had been a lifelong problem my parents and I had dealt with, with medication and therapy – but my anxiety had never reached the height it did when I was on Yaz. My doctor didn’t think there was anything to worry about, she didn’t sense anything wrong, even though my mother especially had noticed my happy-go-lucky, bubbly disposition disappear from about 6months into taking yaz.

    I went off to college in 2011 (I believe at the height of my anxiety) at a time that was meant to be one of the most exciting times of my life I was far from it. I found when I was alone in my room at college I would become so upset to the extent I use to hold my breath until I would pass out, I’d think about all the different ways I could kill myself or hurt myself that would lead to death. I use to drive home on the weekends and sometimes I would have to pull over on the side of the road because I’d been hysterically fighting with myself not to drive into a centre barrier or off the road. I clearly knew this behavior was not normal but I just didn’t care. By this stage I was failing all of my subjects at college. 2 months of feeling and acting like this – my boyfriend surprised me and came to visit me at college. He now says he had never seen anyone look so un life like. He took one look at me and started packing my bags. He drove me straight home and together my mother and i went straight to my doctors.

    Again my doctor denied it had nothing to do with yaz but the “transition” of going to college. Even though my mother had printed of all of these reports, articles on yaz and the affects inclu strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, depression etc – my Dr still denied it. Instead i was put on a high dosage of anti-depressant that also worked as an anxiety med. This had absolutely no affect of me. My mood didn’t change i would still cry hysterically or I’d be angry.

    Finally, after 2 months of no change and becoming worse in the sense I’d tried to kill myself twice and been admitted to hospital once, my mother throughout EVERY yaz prescription & packet and I continued on the anti depressant. Within 3wks I slowly – was coming out of this emotional black hole I had been in for almost a 6months. It was August 2011 and I finally almost felt like i was myself again. (by this time i had a new doctor). He had seen 5 other patients on yaz go through the same type of emotional rollercoaster with NOTHING to have encouraged it on.

    I Stopped taking the anti depressants by April 2012 (Now a year on). My doctor and I decided on trialing going back on yaz, but instead this time i had to keep a diary and i had regular check up of my moods etc. I was on it for about 6months, before I found out I was pregnant (my boyfriend and i have always used condoms). NO ONE TELLS YOU IN SEX EDUCATION AT SCHOOL YOU STILL HAVE A 1/400 CHANCE OF FALLING PREGNANT EVEN WHEN DOING THE RIGHT THINGS.

    I felt and still do feel this was the second time yaz had failed me. I currently take no birth control pills. I don’t think i ever will after my experiences with yaz. I am very happy and confident in the person I am today. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive family, boyfriend and friends that have stood by me through this.
    I stand strong and confident when I say Yaz ruined & wiped 2 and half years of my life.

  13. Kimberley says:

    I have been on yaz for 3 months and just recently got switched to yaz flex yesterday so that it’s easier for me to remember takin it on time etc. by my doctor. I told her about what’s been happening in the last month or so, and she just gave me a cream for rashes etc.

    BUT I am seriously concerned as to if what I am experiencing is normal or not, I may be over reacting, I was put on this pill to regulate and lighten my period and also for my acne, it has helped alot but since I just got put on yaz flex and it’s the same thing, in the last month or so I have been experiencing an extremely itchy face, I have been finding it hard in times to breath and I’m very shortened in breath, it’s starting to scare me alot, my heartbeat is irregular and I feel extremely light headed I have been also experiencing horrifying migraines and headaches, I’m only 15 I may just need more understanding to what is happening if it is normal, somehow I feel it’s not please help :,(

    • Kimberly – you need to go back to your doctor as soon as possible. This isn’t normal and you likely need to be taken off Yaz and have everything checked out. The irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, migraines are all signs of negative side effects of the drug and could suggest serious underlying health issues. Please let your parents know and speak to your doctor immediately.

    • Please, please see a doctor and stop taking YAZ. It could save you life!

  14. Please check out my recent update on this story for the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research blog, re:Cycling:

    http://menstruationresearch.org/2013/05/09/yaz-and-yasmin-back-in-the-spotlight/

  15. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am now not positive whether or not this submit is written through him as nobody else recognise such detailed about
    my trouble. You’re wonderful! Thank you!

  16. I’ve been on yaz for 2 years and never had a problem with it. But now I am really scared after reading all this stuff about it. Should I stop taking it immediately?

  17. I’ve been on Birth control pills since I was 20 and Yasmin for a number of those years. I’m healthy low blood pressure and have never had any of the symptoms described in any previous posts. I will be 50 next year and will come off Yasmin to see if I still get a period or not. Am I just one of the thousands on this who just don’t have issues? Should I stop now? Why am I ok on these and not others. I’d like expert advice from a doctor. Thanks so much!!

  18. I have just started on Yaz as well. Am now also very worried with all this negative comments. Should i stop????

  19. I just turned 16 , July 10th my doctor prescribed me yasmin and i start this sunday , he gave me an option between yasmin and another birthcontrol i told him i heard on the news the negativity of this birth control he said the pill is fine, it would be taken off right away if somthing was wrong with it so i took his word and picked yasmin, i am a little worried now reading theese articles im worried about the blood clots and things because i always have a really low blood pressure. should i take them and see how it goes and if i feel any negative side affects go back to my doctor ??

  20. Meredith says:

    I have been on Yaz for 6 years and I love it. My doctor put me on it because of my extremely heavy menstrual cycle. I was apprehensive at first because I had previously tried almost every birth control pill on the market and none worked for me. Yaz has been the only pill that has not caused me to ecperience negative side effects. I’m 34 years old and have been on and off the pill since I was 18. Yaz works for me.

  21. Just stopped taking Yaz. My periods are so crazy, but I don’t care. I could go a year without having one, or I could bleed just a tiny bit every day. Who knows what will happen. What I do know is that my blood pressure has dropped so much since I stopped taking Yaz. My blood pressure was usually 130-140/90-something, and sometimes even higher than that. Past two times I’ve had it taken it’s been considerably lower – 108/68. Yaz is definitely not for me.

  22. I’ve been taking yaz flex since jan 2013..I’m confused about all these reports about the company bayer..is yaz flex more safer than yaz
    ? Is it any different?

  23. I have been taking yasmin for a few years and since then have had anxiety and other problems but i just recently figured out that the reason for it was because i have low blood pressure now because of yasim 91/68 i just decided to stop taking it a few days ago and i just want to know if people who hav stopped taking it felt better or their low blood pressure went away or should i see a doctor about it?

  24. I am a pharmacist.and i am so shocked that as early as 15 years old girls took the pill.almost all drugs have sideeffects as it is they are being use because the benefits outweighs the risk.i think that the study should concentrate on the safety of this drug on puberty age,where girls are not supposed to be sexually active yet and should not be bothered by what pills to take…:(

    • Agreed, gie. There should be studies on IUDs as well. Also, these girls need to know that the pill isn’t going to protect them from STDs.

  25. Hi everyone,
    I’m a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and I’m looking to interview women who are willing to share their experience with Yaz/yasmin or other pills containing drospirenone. Please email me if you can help out at Jdeardorff@tribune.com.
    Thanks!
    Julie Deardorff

  26. I was prescribed Yaz by my doctor last week and am supposed to start today. The last few days I have been researching the effects and problems with Yaz because I remember all the controversy regarding it a few years ago. When I asked my doctor about it she said that all birth control pills have issues, and because so many girls and women are taking this pill that the stats are higher but its essentially safe and the risks are the same as others. When I was younger I tried 2 different pills throughout three years and each gave me extreme depression. I stopped taking any kind of pill for about 2 and a half years, which has been so much better. Lately though I have had extreme cramps and numbing in my legs with abdominal pain during my menstruation to the point where I bed ridden for 2 days, so my doctor prescribed Yaz. After doing all the research I am completely freaked out and do not want to take this drug! If I don’t take it though I’ll have to continue going through the pain during my period. It effects my daily life because I have to call in sick, or miss important classes at College. Does anybody have advice? I know there are women that this drug works for but is the risk of this drug worth my health? Many of you have told your doctor concerns and symptoms and they dismissed them, I feel as if my doctor is the same.

    • I just started the Yaz Flex last night and this morning i woke up extremely nauseous. I was vomiting and feeling very light headed. I dont know whether or not to continue using it? After reading so many negative reviews and haunting side effects im seriously thinking about ditching the pill!

  27. I’m 20years of age and its almost 2months now since I’ve been using the pill,I started using it because I’ve had bad period pains since I’ve started on my periods so my gynecologist prescribed yaz…My left breast gland is painful at the bottom and it hasn’t stopped and vaginal itching or sudden burning would occur,and it caused spot bleeding on my first period on them.I’m so scared by all the things I’m reading and have researched.these pills don’t cause cancer do they?I’ve also lost abit of weight but I don’t mind that.do I stop?

    • It would be best to stop taking Yaz and try a different gynecologist. Loestrin 24 FE is the best, in my experience. While you’re not taking the pills, be sure to use spermicide or condoms.
      Doctors get paid for pushing certain types of pills. Your doctor is probably getting a kickback from the makers of Yaz. So it might be best to switch doctors if they won’t allow you to switch pills. (I hate how doctors think they can tell us what to do when it should be our choice.)

    • JUST STOP TAKING THESE PILLS. This is bad!!!!!!!!!! Use a condom!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. i am getting married in 5weeks time, and needed to start using contraceptives, and my doctor prescribed Yaz for me, and i started taking it today, now i really dont know whether to continue or stop, but now i dont know which pill is safer cos we really dont want a “honeymoon” baby, please advice on which pill should be used instead of Yaz,

    • Thandi, you should really look into Loestrin 24FE. When I first got married, that was the pill I used. It is a low dose of hormones, and it works very well as long as you take it every night. Be sure to use condoms as a backup method when you are taking the brown pills, and probably the last day before you take the brown pills and the first day you’re back on the white pills. I always did that just to be safe.

      Hormonal birth control is not the best thing for you, but Loestrin is the least harmful. IUDs can have horrible side effects, and pills like Yaz or Seasonique are bad for you as well. Anything that stops you from having a period is bad news.

      With Loestrin, your periods will be lighter and it will completely get rid of cramps. It helps clear up your face as well. You’ll probably put on a few pounds but as long as you’re eating healthy it doesn’t matter.

      I stopped using Loestrin for two reasons. Reason #1- we’re considering trying for a baby soon, but we’re not quite ready yet. If we did get pregnant, it wouldn’t be a bad thing right now, but we’re still waiting. Reason #2- I can’t handle pap smears. Mine always have normal results, but they hurt really bad, and there’s no doctors who are willing to give the pill without it. (I realize having a baby hurts too, but I’d rather make the choice of what pain I go through. Women deserve control over their own bodies. Birth control should not be held hostage by doctors. And monogamous women are at a VERY low risk of the diseases the pap smear tests for.)

      I’ve started using conceptrol spermicide, along with just timing things so we don’t have sex when I ovulate. I’ve been off Loestrin for a year and I haven’t gotten pregnant, and I have no fertility issues. So conceptrol might be something you want to consider as well.

  29. I knew this pill was bad news from the start. You’re supposed to have a period every month. It’s natural.

  30. My 17 year old daughter recently started yaz and took it for 12 days before we stopped it. She was prescribed it as she was to do a month long trip to India with a school group and the convenience of not havig a period was her reason. The day prior to starting yaz she had a headache of “normal” type. She is not a migraine sufferer and only occasionally gets a shortlived headache sometimes reqiring panadol. The day after she started her period and started on yaz. She has had a constant headache ever since. She has had numerous investigations including MRI brain and neck both normal. Tried numerous medications and physical therapies with no effect. She has now had the headache nearly 11 weeks and stopped yax over 9 weeks ago. She is physically exhausted and tired and unable to concentrate. She is normally a straight A student and about to do her final school year next year. This has been devastating. Has anyone else had a similar experience and could this still be a result of the Yaz exarcerbating an otherwise “normal” headache. Can anyone suggest what to do, we are still consulting a variety of doctors

  31. Hi there,
    I’m 16 and i’m mean tot be going on Yaz flex. I’m going on it for my skin, nothing to do with sexual intercourse. quite a few of my friends have gone on it for their skin and have had no problems with it. But after hearing rumours about blood clots and a high risk or breast cancer they all went off it. Please give me advice ? i thought this would be the solution to my skin clearing up, but you’ve all scared me :/

    • First off, I don’t believe BIRTH control should be used for anything but preventing BIRTH. If you’re not having sex, get off the pill hon. Synthetic hormones aren’t worth perfect skin. Which you could go to a dermatologist and have them prescribe something specifically FOR acne and get. Missing your periods over acne? That’s not good. Missing your period AT ALL isn’t good. Which is why I stopped using the pill. But honestly it was a horrible experience for me and I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone or thing. I wasn’t to kill myself the emotional mess I was dealing with from it was destroying me and my relationship. Be careful and good luck. Try a derm!

  32. Elizabeth says:

    I have been prescribed birth control pills on and off since I was 16 to help with irregular periods. I took Yasmin for two years with no side effects. Contrary to the previous poster I am now on Loestrin and I have had terrible side effects from it: everything from hot flashes to nausea. I am extremely frustrated with the whole process. When I go into my GYN and explain my symptoms I am given two options: I can go on birth control or I can have a procedure where they burn the inside of your uterus with very hot water which “might” help with my heavy, practically constant, periods. I am extremely healthy and the doctors can find nothing technically wrong with me. My frustration stems from the fact that they know SO LITTLE about how any of this works. How is it that we have drugs so a man can have an erection at 90 years old… because God forbid he might not be able to, but the best we can come up with for women is birth control and procedures that destroy the ability to reproduce? I am 32 years old and even though I am “done” having children, I have 3, I don’t think these are viable options. However, doctors won’t hesitate to suggest them. Don’t even get me started on IUD’s… on the packaging it even says that they have no idea why the IUD’s work the way they do. Really? And then a doctor is going to put it inside my body? No thanks.
    Sorry for the rant. I have had insomnia, night sweats and severe cramping from my birth control pill so I am a little cranky.

  33. Hi ladies. Can I say I’m a healthy fit 23 year old and have been taking Yasmin for years. I’ve had several check ups and consultations by professionals and I can safely say the pill is the pill. It’s completely safe. If you think or feel otherwise get off it. Use other contraceptives :)

    • The pill is the pill, but when you reach your 30′s blood clots are blood clots. Even if it’s working great for you!

  34. Hi everyone… I started reading all of your comments because I’m thinking about going back on Yaz. I’m 26 now, and I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome when I was 19. For the first 4 years I did not want to take any kind of pills but I started feeling a very hard burden of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (missing my period, having extremely hard PMS and the acne was ugh…) My hormonal imbalance was affecting my psychological as well as physical health. I was depressed all the time, angry 24/7 I cried a lot…and I was also thinking about suicide. I visited 3 different gynecologists but no one gave me any solution to my psychological problems; I visited psychologists who told me that hormonal imbalance is the main cause of my problems and so 3 years ago I started using Yaz. After 2 months of using the pill I started feeling different, in a good way. I lost some weight, my acne was gone, for the first time in my life I knew when my period will come and I was no longer depressed. Few months ago I started having very bad headaches – first I thought that my sight is getting worse (since I had bad headaches before I started wearing glasses). My Ophthalmologist told me that my eyes are fine and that they do not cause headaches so I decided to stop taking the pill. Its been 3 months and I feel terrible – my PMS is even worse than I remember it to be , I’ve been depressed for the past 2 months and I’m constantly crying and trying to pick up a fight with whom ever… I’m scared that the pill caused the headaches but this fing depression is ruining me, I’m PMS ing 28 days a month and my period is late, again, every month… SO please could someone give me some kind of advice on what should I do… go back on the pill or???

  35. Ive been taking Yaz for about 6 months now. i feel great!
    i was getting migrains with Yasmin so stopped, then i put on weight and had horrible PMT. didn’t know what to do. having suffered with postnatal depression and had terrible mood swings with mini pill i didn’t want to try that. the coil didn’t look like an option for me either so Dr let me try Yaz as a last resort. my weight has come off, i don’t get PMT and i feel pretty good.
    however, i am 38 and getting worried about all these reports I’m reading about blood clots. I can’t believe the one Pill that actually works for me could potentially kill me. i can’t win!

  36. I would just like to say thank you for this article as my Gynea has prescribed this to me a few months ago. Yet i have not had any great feeling of this Pill. Now I know why. but which pill do I use now???

  37. I am quite shocked about all the negative publicity around Yasmin. I was on the Yasmin pill for 3 years and it was great. I used to suffer from terrible period pain to a point where I could not walk and I constantly had to visit my gynae as I have ovarian cysts for over 10 years but Yasmin helped with the pain and the cysts and I never felt better. its a pity that so many women have had bad experiences but we need to remember that not all women are the same. our bodies work differently and what works for one wont necessarily work for another. always good to read up on the warnings in the box before taking any medication as they do stipulate that if you suffer from any conditions then it is not advisable to take certain medication which is true for pills as well.

    honestly, I would have recommended this pill to anyone that needed advice based on my experiences but after reading this blog I would rather continue taking the pill and let everyone else decide for themselves.

  38. I’ve been on the Yaz pill for a month now and have not been having any side effects, I just want to confirm whether I will get pregnant while using the pill or not? As I am not ready to have a baby yet

  39. Lela Canada says:

    i took yaz for 3 months and all my hair was coming out and my leggs start hurting very bad.

  40. Thank you so much for this blog. Birth control pills are often needed for many reasons besides purely birth control itself/not getting pregnant. Seeing the lawsuits and negative effects of Yaz are flat out scary. In the past, I have taken Necon and hated it immensely due to the nauseous side effects. Now I am just starting Junel (which does not contain the bad ingredient that Yaz has mentioned in these postings. I just checked again!). I wish having to choose birth control pills was not so difficult or potentially life harming for women. Personally, I’ve always been afraid of the blood clot risk in general.

  41. The YAZ birth control pill almost ruined my life. Yup it’s true. I am 18 I started taking Gianvi at first. Everything was GREAT, my cystic acne was disappearing, I was happier, my period was lighter basically gone…(which IMO is completely unhealthy and wrong) one of the reasons I stopped birth control pills all together. I then moved to Arizona had to transfer my pills to a new pharmacy and THEY GAVE ME (unwillingly I may say) THE GENERIC VERSION. It was bad, I was moody I was hungry all the time, and the worst part AT THE TIME, my acne was occurring again. I then had this huge mix up with the pharmacy and my gynecologist office which resulted in the pharmacy not carrying Gianvi, and ending up spending $30 on YAZ. Worst $30 I have ever spent before in a lifetime. I post this because YAZ destroyed my life. After the first WEEK I was in TEARS I wanted to kill myself. As I said before I had recently moved so I was looking for a job as well, which was almost nearly impossible with the way I was feeling. I had no motivation, no self-esteem and NO DRIVE TO DO ANYTHING. They say the pill decreases libido. Maybe because you’re a dysfunctional, depressed train wreck! Why on earth would you wanna have sex?! Anyways I was eating everything, I was in tears in bed every night and the depression was so strong it was physically PAINFUL every time. I was SO unhappy. The worst part of it all…(yeah it actually gets worse) it was destroying my relationship as well. I moved down and met a man and INSTANTLY there was a connection, we would just stare into each others eyes for I don’t even know how long and it felt so right and so perfect. He was ( and still is god bless his heart..) the man of my dreams. I was a fucking raging BITCH. I would feeling like he didn’t love me, didn’t care about me, didn’t want me, wasn’t interested. And to make myself feel even worse, I was constantly missing him worrying that I was gunna lose him. Fucking insane. He isn’t a very lovey dovey open up to you guy either which made me fucking crazy. That’s when I new for an absolutely fact I wasn’t just depressed I was someone else. I don’t like lovey dovey guys. I like a man that will love me and do anything for me. But isn’t all over me and calling me beautiful 24/7. I’m not into that. And the fact that that’s all I was craving was just ridiculous. It wasn’t me. I wasn’t me. I immediately dropped the pill. Losing him would of ruined my life. And birth control pills are no longer an option for me. I’m going to stick to condoms or maybe a NON-HORMONAL method. I mean my god. I just stopped 3 days ago and I already feel amazing and our relationship is recovering :) . Unless you wanna be a disaster roller coaster of emotions, I’d avoid YAZ!

  42. Hello pls help me i feel scared about this.. i just taking yaz 2nd day today.. at the very first place i really dont want to take pills but since i have a problem adenomyopa my dr. Prescribed me this yaz .. pls research about adenomyosis everytime u have period is very painful. Im only 21 yrs old .. my dr. Gave me options what i want to do about this. 1st take yaz for atleast 2months 2nd option is theres a thing that implant to u so that u will not hve period for 6months 3rd option have a surgery they will cut the affected area of adenomyosis 4th one is to be pregnant .. pls pls help me i dont know what to do

  43. Hi :) I’ve been on yaz for almost a full two months. I wanted a birth control but also needed help with acne. I’m 37. My acne is so much worse, but from what I’ve read it’s suppose to get better after 3 months so I’m really torn as to what to do! In addition, I’ve been feeling overly anxious and emotional, lack of appetite, heaviness in the chest, kinda like my heart chugs at times and heavy-tight legs, if that makes sense. I am newly separated so I can’t tell if these are side effects from yaz or just stress :(

  44. My soon to be 17 year old daughter was prescribed YAZ this morning at a military hospital for her acne. I was looking for information from personal users, since there are lawsuits out there. Never did we receive any of this kind of information in the doctor’s office. Leg cramps, fatigue, depression, hair loss! Doc only told us that 10 out 10000 women get a blood clot, but since the risks were so low, they continue to prescribe it! My gosh, after reading all these personal stories, I don’t want my daughter on this stuff. Why are they allowed to keep prescribing it?

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