In order to control my acne and intense periods, I was put on Yaz, an oral contraceptive that had been approved by the FDA to treat acne when I was fifteen years old. I began the pill right in the middle of the waves of criticism the pill received in 2013. I didn’t stay on it for very long. Even at fifteen, I was a critic towards pills and medicine, and begged my mom to put me on another type of birth control. Eventually, she faltered.
Despite my determination to change to another contraceptive, I never suffered from any negative side effects while on the pill. Other women weren’t so lucky. Even though the side effects and complications with Yaz are still present, they have dropped from the public’s attention; therefore, doctors are prescribing the pill once again (as well as Yasmin, it’s sister pill) to a new generation who may be unaware of the concerns.
Minor Yaz complications include: Acne, migraine headaches, unusual vaginal discharge, yeast infections, cramps, changes in weight, decreased sex drive, problems with eyesight and contact lenses. More serious complications include deep vein thrombosis, liver tumors, inflammatory bowel disease, and pulmonary embolism due to blood clots. Other have experienced heart attacks and strokes. In 2008 and 2009, Yaz was the best-selling birth control in the United States where millions of women were prescribed the contraceptive. Of course, every medication and birth control pill comes with risk. However, with Yaz, the numbers are higher.
In 2009, two studies were publishedthat found that contraceptives containing drospirenone, increased blood clots 1.5 to 2 times. In 2011, this number increased to 2 to 3 times more likely. In 2015, another article supported these claims.
In 2013, Health Canada reported on 23 Yaz related deaths, while the United States barely even discussed the topic and didn’t cover on the issue whatsoever. Moreover, France reported on 20 deaths a year due to Yaz.
In a CBC article, a woman fell backwards and couldn’t breathe resulting in her death. Her mother decided to investigate the rise of blood clot rises. Indeed, her daughter’s autopsy showed that she died of “disseminated intravascular coagulation,” which are blood clots. Matthew Baer represents hundreds of women who have been affected by blood clots by using either Yaz or Yasmin. Documents from Health Canada found that 600 negative reactions occurred between 2007 and 2013. And half of the deaths reported from Yaz or Yasmin were women under the age of 26.
The reasons for Yaz’s success is due to Bayer advertising it as a pill for PMS, or a “miracle pill.” However in 2008, the FDA found that this, in fact, was not true whatsoever and that the pill did not decrease acne in patients either. Bayer spent $20 million dollars on correcting deceptive TV advertisements but patients were already prescribed the pill by the point.
Since the mid 2000s there have been over 10,000 lawsuits against Bayer as well as Yasmin and Ocella (another related contraceptive). In response, Bayer agreed to pay $1 billion to settle lawsuit claims for patients who suffered from blood clots. More recently, in 2013, Bayer paid $24 million to Yaz and Yasmin patients who suffered from gallbladder disease.
Yet, Yaz is still being prescribed almost thirty years later despite the damage to women’s health around the globe. The United States ignores the concerns of the pill and the necessary responsibility to provide safe contraceptives.
If you were affected by Yaz as a young person, and are suffering from the aftermath, reach out to MedTruth in order for us to follow up and update this article.