Yasmin Birth Control: Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, And More
In this article, we’ll discuss Yasmin birth control in detail, including its uses, possible side effects, precautions, and interactions with other medicines.
Combined Oral Contraceptives (COC’s) contain a combination of progestin and estrogen (this combination is also called LNG and Ethinyl estradiol). These pills thicken the cervical mucus and make it more acidic, thereby eradicating sperms that lie in the cervical canal. They also prevent ovulation but have no real effect on implantation.
What Is Yasmin Birth Control?
Yasmin pill is one such type of combined oral contraceptive. You need to take one pill every 24 hours, at the same time each day. The medicine prevents the sperm from entering the uterus or reaching the egg which ensures that fertilization does not occur. There are four types of COC’s available commercially – the conventional combination pill, the monophasic pill, the multiphasic pill, and the extended cycle pill.
Monophasic pills contain the same amount of estrogen and progestin in every unit. When the hormone levels differ in each pill, it is termed multiphasic. Yasmin is a monophasic pill and through this article, we shall aim at simplifying the uses of Yasmin alongside the side effects it infers.
Uses of Yasmin
The uses of Yasmin include the release of hormones that restrict the sperm from reaching the ovary to combine with the egg. The hormones present in the pill (in this case, both estrogen and progestin) function by stopping ovulation. As ovulation is stopped, there is no way that the egg can be fertilized. Mucus that runs in the cervical tract also begins to thicken, making it almost impossible for any number of sperms to make their way through the tract.
The most common packaging of birth control pills consists of 21-day and 28-day periods. The 21-day package has tablets that must be taken every day for 21 days. Once this 3-week period is over, the 4th week is safe for unprotected sex and there is little to no chance of pregnancy. This cycle is to be repeated continuously until the female wishes to get pregnant.
The 28-day package, on the other hand, comes with 28 pills, one for each day. The first 21 pills have active hormones that help in developing a hostile environment for the sperm so that it cannot travel in the cervical canal. In contrast to this, the last 7 pills are placebos and have inactive hormones.
In case you want to increase the length of your menstrual cycle while simultaneously decreasing its frequency, the extended pill form of Yasmin is a good option. It confers the same uses as that of Yasmin all while increasing the duration of your cycle. This medication is typically taken for 12 to 13 weeks.
After 12 to 13 weeks, you need not take any pill for a full week. You may take an inactive pill for this week’s duration if you want to maintain the habit of taking Yasmin every day. With extended cycle pills, you get periods less often which means that may get periods only 3 to 4 times a year.
This is a great choice if you wish to get lesser frequent periods or want to avoid periods altogether with continuous dosing. At times you may experience spotting. The pill pack is 99% effective and 91% effective, when used as per indication or not taken correctly, respectively.
Pros of this medicine are fewer periods and shorter or lighter periods. Cons include heavier periods and spotting between periods.
Long-time users of birth control pills are clinically proven to have decreased risks of suffering from ovarian and endometrial cancer. This benefit also extends to reducing the risk of other diseases such as fibrocystic breast disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), etc. Hormone pills like Yasmin are also responsible for preventing the indicators of pre-menstrual stress such as irritability, moodiness, anxiety, binge-eating, etc.
Possible Side Effects Of Using Yasmin Birth Control
If a certain birth control pill has side effects, your doctor may switch you over to another contraceptive pill. Eventually, with trial and error, the doctor will be able to recommend the ideal pill for you. Some of the side effects of the pills include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or other types of abnormal pain
- Blurry vision
- Severe aching and headaches
- Swelling or redness on legs
- Increased risks of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure
- Soreness in the breasts
- Regular mood alterations, including bouts of depression and hopelessness
- Weight alterations can occur
- Irregularities in the menstrual cycle
Once the body is comfortable with this inclusion of hormones, the side effects begin to naturally wear off. Thus, the aforementioned side effects tend to be temporary in most cases and do not adversely affect an individual.
Precautions Associated With The Uses Of Yasmin
A very important precaution to undertake is to always use barrier methods of protection alongside the pill while engaging in sexual intercourse. Apart from barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragms, no other form of the contraceptive can protect against the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or diseases.
A condom stops sperm from getting in touch with an egg. The sheath-like substance does not allow sperm to enter the uterus or get in direct contact with the vagina.
- Yasmin may also change the date of your next expected period. However, if menstruation is delayed beyond one week, it is better to get a pregnancy test done and follow up with a doctor. There might also be some spotting or bleeding before the next period arrives.
- There is an abundance of caution that should be undertaken while getting off Yasmin too. Coming off your birth control pills may result in the Vitamin D levels in your body plummeting. Vitamin D is responsible to maintain bone density by helping your body assimilate calcium.
- It stabilizes the immunity and energy levels of the body along with preventing the risk of mood disorders such as depression. Some Vitamin D supplements you may include in your schedule are from the brands called Drisdol, Calciferol, Cholecalciferol, Ergocalciferol, et cetera.
- Because of the lack of supply of the hormones, once you get off Yasmin, pre-menstrual symptoms may return. Hormonal imbalance is the number one reason behind skin outbreaks and unwanted hair. The birth control pills do a remarkable job in maintaining the hormonal balance in your body. Therefore, there may be unwanted hair growth and acne.
- After discontinuing birth control pills, there could be heavier blood flow and increased cramps. This depends on when you began consuming your pills and for how long. If you started birth control in your early 20s and stopped them in your mid-30s, this problem may not arise, otherwise, blood loss and contractions may increase.
There also may be mid-cycle cramps. When ovulation restarts, you may experience pain on one side of your lower abdomen. There could also be an increase in vaginal discharge.
Interactions With The Uses Of Yasmin Birth Control
Negative drug interactions can greatly diminish the efficacy of combination pills. This might result in an unplanned pregnancy or potent side effects upon the use of Yasmin.
Thus, certain medications are contraindicated with the use of Yasmin. An example of such a drug is tranexamic acid, which is used to treat heavy bleeding during a menstrual period. Drugs or herbal products that affect the activity of some liver enzymes may reduce the effectiveness of the use of Yasmin. Some of these drugs are listed below:
- Amoxicillin (an antibiotic used to treat various bacterial infections)
- Barbiturates (used to treat insomnia, seizures)
- Rifampicin (anti-tubercular drug)
- St. John’s wort (used in depression)
- Carbamazepine (anticonvulsant)
- Cefixime (antibiotic)
- Cyclosporine (immunosuppressant used in organ transplantation)
- Dexamethasone (anti-inflammatory)
- Phenytoin (anticonvulsant)
Some other medicines that Yasmin might interact with include amitriptyline (tranquilizer), diazepam (tranquilizer), and warfarin (anticoagulant). However, it is essential to remember not an exhaustive list. For more information, visit Medscape Drug Interaction Checker and always consult a licensed gynecologist first.
Yasmin Birth Control: Conclusion
Birth control methods are indeed beneficial to women. However, not every female can use all types of contraceptives available. Depending on the lifestyle, preference, and health condition of a person, the doctor will prescribe a certain type of birth control to the concerned female. Consulting a doctor becomes even more important if you suffer from certain health conditions.
For instance, women sensitive to the hormonal forms of birth control should switch to non-hormonal forms of contraceptives. When looking for contraceptives, you will find several options. Pills can be 91% to 99% effective, especially hormone-containing ones like Yasmin. Seeking the advice of a professional gynecologist ensures that you minimize the side effects of the uses of Yasmin, all while reaping its maximum benefit.
February 19, 2021 Sam Bell