New Generation of Birth Control Pills Linked With Blood Clots. Not Again!
Are you swallowing birth control pills with brand-names like Yaz, Beyaz, Safyral and Yasmin? If you are, you might want to rethink taking them, especially if your family is known to be at risk for blood clots. Venous thromboembolisms (blood clots) most commonly form in the veins, but can travel to the lungs, where they can cause a pulmonary embolism and in severe cases, this can lead to death.
In a study of 330,000 Israeli women, researchers discovered that clients who took pills with the hormone drospirenone (found in Yaz and Yasmin) suffered a greater likelihood of developing blood clots than those who took other types of birth control pills. (Fox News) In fact the risk was 43 percent to 65 percent higher for those taking the drospirenone-containing pills, compared with older, so-called second- and third-generation pills. That risk is substantial and could result in around eight to 10 clots per 10,000 women per year.
Dr. Susan Solymoss, in her editorial published with the study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, suggested that women have an "open discussion" with their doctor on the risks and benefits of various contraceptives.
One key thing to consider, said McGill University's Solymoss, is whether the Pill user has other risk factors for blood clots, like obesity or high blood pressure. In that instance, it would be logical to avoid the pills which are associated with the highest clot risk, though all oral contraceptive pill users are at increased risk for blood clots. It comes with the territory of birth control pills. It's just a matter of degree.
Dr. Naomi Gronich, who led the new study, suggested that age is another factor which can determine whether one should take the newer or older generation pills. Gronich, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, told Reuters Health that blood clot risk gradually increased after the age of 25. Indeed, women who are older than 35 and smoke (additional risk element) are cautioned to give birth control pills a very wide birth.
Of the reformulated and newer birth control pills, Yasmin arrived on the scene a decade ago. Its progestin, drospirenone, was different from older ones, which are derived from testosterone. A big draw for the "Yaz" products has been in their promotion. They cause less weight gain and swelling than the older testosterone pills. Additionally, Yaz, a big seller and Beyaz can also be used to manage "moderate acne or so-called premenstrual dysphoric disorder," reports Fox News . The disorder is a severe form of PMS which is physically agonizing and can be a simultaneous emotional mountain climb and plummet into the abyss.Continued on the next page
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