A new FDA study revealed that women taking Yaz birth control or related medications are 75% more-likely to experience a blood clot than women taking other, older forms of birth control.
Yaz contains a synthetic hormone called drospirenone that the studies are showing could be more harmful to women than previously believed. Developed over the last decade, drospierone has found its way into many different birth control pills including: Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral, Syeda, Loryna, Ocella and Zarah among others. Users of the Ortho Evra patch and the Nuvaring vaginal ring may also be at increased risk for blood clots.
Other recent studies across the United States and Europe suggest that newer birth control pills, including those containing drospierone, carry twice the risk of blood clots than earlier medications. The FDA will hold a meeting in early December with scientific advisers to assess the safety risks of Yaz. Changes in international regulations may follow.
What does this mean for women now? What’s the big deal about blood clots?
The risk of blood clots can lead to the development of venus thromboembolism which is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein. This can result in a pulmonary embolism – a blood clot in the lungs – and even a blood clot in the brain. These clots can have long-term health complications and even be fatal in some cases.
What should women do who are taking birth control pills developed over the last ten years?
If you’re currently taking Yaz or a medication with drospirenone, you should be aware of the risks.
“I think women really need to talk with their doctors before they start a birth control pill, and doctors should try to choose ones that have lower risks,” Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told WebMD. “I wouldn’t start with these riskier oral contraceptives as first-line, first-start pills.”
Be informed even before you see your doctor. Investigate women’s health issues in the news or online through reputable women’s health websites like Planned Parenthood.