Many argue that there is no guaranteed “safe” birth control option, as no birth control (other than abstinence) is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, however, there are “safer” birth control options than the controversial and potentially dangerous oral contraceptive, Yaz. Yaz, a top selling contraceptive from the Bayer Company, has an unsettling amount of serious to fatal side effects. Since its inception in 2006, Yaz became the United States’ top selling oral contraceptive in 2009, grossing $800 billion. The following year, sales dropped 15 percent and the increase of Yaz lawsuits rose dramatically. Serious health complications, due to side effects, were responsible for the rise and fall of Yaz.
The Popular Yaz: The not-so-safe birth control option
Where did Yaz go wrong? It’s not just Yaz that is responsible for severe side effects in women. Yaz, like Yasmin and Ocella, is an oral birth control pill containing Drospirenone and Ethinyl Estradiol and is often prescribed to women who suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) or to treat moderate acne in women over the age of 14. The new wave of oral birth control seemed promising and less of a hassle than older birth control pills. However, the “brand new pill” causes a large amount of problems. The biggest issue with birth control containing Drospirenone and Ethinyl Estradiol are the heightened risks of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVM) and Pulmonary Embolisms (PE), both can be fatal if left unattended. While women over the age of 35, who smoke tobacco, and take Yaz are at the highest risk of DVM and PE, the side effects are not discriminatory to age, as a teenage girl was one of many who suffered from the dangerous side effects.
Even if you are considering filing a claim against Yaz or in the middle of a Yaz lawsuit, you still have the right to choose a birth control that you can trust. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, there are numerous (and safer) Birth Control Options available to women. Some safer options include, but are not limited to:
Methods with relatively little to no side effects
– Continuous Abstinence: The only sure way to prevent pregnancy and protection from STIs
– Natural Family Planning or The Rhythm Method: a natural option that focuses on a woman’s body temperature, menstruation cycle, etc.
– Barrier Methods: Blocks sperm from reaching an egg (i.e. Cervical Sponge, Diaphragm, Male and Female Condoms)
Methods with little to moderate to severe side effects
– Hormonal Methods: (i.e. Oral Contraceptives, The Patch, Injections, Vaginal Ring)
– Implantable Devices: (i.e. Implantable Rods, Intrauterine Devices-IUDs)
– Permanent Birth Control Methods: (i.e. Sterilization Implant, Surgical Sterilization)
Birth Control: Safety First
There is no clear, “winner” in birth control options as each woman has her own preference due to lifestyle and other choices. The most important thing to consider when choosing birth control is how safe it is. Women should educate themselves on the variety of options, paying close attention to the possible side effects and discuss any questions, concerns, or health conditions with their gynecologists or health practitioner. If you have taken Yaz, are taking Yaz or are considering taking Yaz, be aware that there are safer birth control options on the market. Don’t put your health at risk! Choose wisely, choose safely.