Benefits of Yaz Birth Control

By Jill Leviticus

  • Overview

    YAZ is a popular family planning option for women who want a reliable means of birth control. YAZ birth control pills not only prevent pregnancy from occurring, but can help ease the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). If you are considering taking YAZ, carefully consider the benefits and risks before making a decision.
  • Function

    YAZ is a combination birth control pill containing a low dose of estrogen coupled with progestin. The pills work by preventing eggs from being released from the ovary. If an egg is not present in the fallopian tubes, fertilization cannot occur. YAZ also causes cervical mucus to thicken. In the unlikely event that an egg is released while taking birth control pills, thick mucus will make it difficult for sperm to reach the egg. YAZ users take active pills for 24 days, followed by inactive pills for 4 days. Menstruation occurs during the time that the inactive pills are taken.
  • General Benefits

    When YAZ is taken daily, it is 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. YAZ can help improve acne by blocking the androgens, or male sex hormones, that may contribute to acne. YAZ has many of the same benefits as other birth control pills do, such as reduced incidence of benign breast lumps and cysts, reduction of ovarian cysts, and lower risk of ectopic pregnancy, endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer.

  • PMDD Benefits

    Because women taking YAZ only use inactive pills for 4 days instead of the 7 days required by other brands of birth control pills, hormone levels remain more consistent. Maintaining a more constant level of hormones can help relieve the symptoms of PMDD, a disorder with both physical and emotional symptoms. Emotional symptoms of PMDD include irritability, depression, hopelessness, increased sensitivity, trouble concentrating, moodiness, guilt and a general feeling of being out of control. Physical symptoms also occur with PMDD, including fatigue, bloating, muscle aches, breast swelling and tenderness, headaches, trouble sleeping, cravings and increased appetite. While PMDD shares many symptoms with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), PMDD occurs if you experience these symptoms 1 to 2 weeks before your period starts and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your ability to cope with daily life.
  • Side Effects

    Light bleeding between periods may occur when you first start taking YAZ as your body adjusts to the medication. You may also experience breakthrough bleeding, which is heavier bleeding similar to a menstrual period. If the bleeding doesn't stop after a few months, call your doctor for advice.
  • Warning

    YAZ contains drospirenone, a form of estrogen that can increase potassium levels. Women with liver, kidney or adrenal disease are advised not to take YAZ because elevated potassium levels could cause heart and other health-related problems. Your doctor may recommend another method of birth control if you have diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, endometriosis, a history of stroke, a previous problem with blood clots, liver disease, jaundice, severe headaches, angina or cancer. If you are older than 35 and smoke, birth control pills are not recommended because they may increase your risk of having a stroke or developing heart problems.
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