YCTV News reported on June 11, 2013 that there have been at least 23 deaths arising from Yaz and Yasmin, which are birth control pills. The Health Canada cannot determine if the deaths were the cause of using these birth control pills. However, Health Canada stated the deaths occurred shortly after the young women began to use these brands of birth control pills. The youngest girl who died after taking these pills was only 14 years old. The oldest woman in this cohort is 26 years old. Fifteen deaths were attributed to Yasmin and eight deaths to Yaz.
“Most of the deaths occurred soon after the women started taking the pills. Some deaths involved pulmonary embolisms, meaning blood clots that had traveled to the lungs. Others appeared to have died of heart attacks or cerebral thrombosis, meaning blood clots in the brain.”
It is to be noted that so far these results represent correlations because other factors could be involved in deaths including the general health of the women and other health products such as medications that were also taken at the same time.
Health Canada received over 300 complaints about side effects from using these birth control products including fainting and non-fatal blood clots and embolisms. Some of these women were taking medication for asthma in combination with the birth control pills.
At this point in time, Health Canada states that the benefits of the products outweigh the side effects. After more research is completed should the risk for danger be linked to these pills they will most likely be taken off the market.
Contact your doctor if you experience the follow symptoms after using Yasmin. According to Canoe.ca the symptoms are:
- abdominal cramping or bloating
- acne (usually less common after 3 months of treatment, and may improve if acne already exists)
- back pain
- breast pain, tenderness, or swelling
- changes in weight
- nausea and vomiting
- changes in your bleeding pattern during periods or between periods, such as:
- breakthrough bleeding or spotting between periods
- complete stopping of menstrual bleeding several months in a row
- decreased bleeding during periods
- occasional stopping of menstrual bleeding
- prolonged bleeding during periods
- for women with a history of abnormalities in the breast
- breast cancer
- cysts in the breast
- lumps in the breast
- increased blood pressure
- persistent sad mood or other emotional changes
- signs of a liver problem (e.g., yellow eyes or skin, abdominal pain, dark urine, pale stools, or itchy skin)
- swelling of ankles and feet
- swelling, pain, or tenderness in upper abdominal area
- vaginal yeast infection with vaginal itching or irritation, or thick, white, or curd-like discharge
- worsening headaches or migraines
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- crushing chest pain or heavy feeling
- pain in the calf
- redness, tenderness, itching, burning, or peeling of skin
- sharp chest pain, coughing up blood, sudden shortness of breath
- signs of an allergic reaction (e.g., difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the face or throat)
- sudden loss of vision (partly or completely)
- sudden severe or worsening headache; vomiting; dizziness; fainting; vision or speech problems; weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg
Noted side effects only occur in about 1 percent of women using the product.
A class-action lawsuit involving several hundred women in Canada who used Yaz and Yasmin was launched in 2010, and certified in Ontario last April. It is one of several such class actions that have been filed across the country.
According to the Daily Herald Tribune, “Canadian gynecologists are maintaining that Yasmin is safe. Birth control pills containing the hormone drospirenone, like Yaz and Yasmin, are not only used for contraception but also to treat conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (POS). POS is linked to obesity and diabetes, both of which increase the risk of blood clot.”