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What is Yaz&Reg;?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 April 2018
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Yaz® is medication manufactured by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals®. It contains two hormones: progesterone (dospirenone) and an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol). The drug is used as an oral contraceptive, but might be prescribed to treat acne in women who are menstruating and at least 14, or to address premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD), which should not be confused with minor mood swings or discomfort occurring from premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Bayer’s birth control pill prevents ovulation, which, in turn, prevents pregnancy from occurring. This particular pill is rated as about 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. Yaz® offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases, and using barrier methods like male or female condoms is still advised.

Birth control pills have schedules that must be followed in order to provide maximum protection. Yaz® should be taken every day at around the same time for a 28 day schedule, which then repeats. Protection isn’t total when pills are forgotten, and it’s best to get advice from a doctor on when to resume intercourse without a back-up method if pills are skipped. In order for the first month to provide complete protection, the first pill must be taken on the first day of a period.

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Oral birth control methods aren’t for everyone, and there are specific warnings applying to use of Yaz®. The contraceptive is often contraindicated for those with hypothyroidism, or thyroid levels may need to be carefully observed when it is used. Mood stabilizers like lamotrigine and Topamax® can be affected by or affect this birth control pill. Lamotrigine levels can be decreased due to this medicine, and Topamax® might cause this birth control to be less effective; other anti-seizure drugs like carbamazepine may have a similar affect as Topamax®. Another possible side effect is change in length of sedation from benzodiazepines; half-life of drugs like Valium® and Xanax® may be unpredictably increased.

Certain medical conditions suggest people choose different birth control methods. Women who have breast or uterine cancer, who have cardiac disease or who suffer from depression should not use Yaz®. The medication increases risk of stroke and blood clots, especially in women who are smokers and over the age of 35. Women should also not use this pill if they think they are pregnant.

The warning regarding depression is important. While Yaz® is prescribed for PMDD, it’s not appropriate for more general depression. Before trying this form of birth control, women should determine if PMDD is being fueled by a depressive condition or is present alone. A good talk with a general doctor or psychiatrist may be in order when origin of depression is unclear.

Less worrisome side effects include changes in weight, irregularities in menstrual cycle, and decreased sexual drive. Some women have a hard time tolerating hormonal birth control and find it causes nausea and vomiting. Others note things like headaches, greater appetite, or higher incidences of yeast infections. Should these effects become greatly bothersome, women are advised to speak with their doctors about other birth control options.

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