With progress in science, more types of pills are available to prevent pregnancy. So, it’s a great idea to understand the pros and cons of birth control pills before you decide to take one.

While the ingredients in the pills may be similar, their dose may differ. This may increase or decrease the risk of certain side effects. So, certain contraceptive pills may be contraindicated in some women, while they would be an ideal option for others.

Alesse and Yaz are some of the most common contraceptives used in Canada.

This article will compare Yaz and Alesse to help you understand which may be a better option for you.

Let’s dive in!

Yaz and Alesse are birth control pills

Yaz and Alesse are progestin and estrogen combination contraceptive pills. When taken regularly as advised by the doctor and without missing a dose, the pills are effective in 98% – 99% of cases. 

According to the CDC, the use failure rate for Yaz and Alesse is 7% – 8%  if one may miss or not take it properly.

Doctors in Canada commonly advise these prescription oral contraceptive pills to prevent pregnancy, improve blood flow, or regularize the menstrual cycle.

Besides, Yaz is approved by Health Canada for the premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) or moderate acne. PMDD is a severe type of premenstrual syndrome where the woman faces severe irritability and anxiety or depression a week or two before the onset of periods.

How Do Yaz and Alesse Work?

Yaz and Alesse: When taken as directed, both Alesse and  Yaz prevent pregnancy by:

  • Preventing ovulation (release of the egg) during the menstrual cycle.
  • Making your vaginal fluid thicker to prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
  • Altering the uterine lining, preventing attachment of the fertilized egg.
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They may also help you regularize periods, treat acne and decrease blood loss during periods. 

How many tablets are in Yaz?

Yaz comes as a 28-day pill. One needs to take active pills for 24 consecutive days followed by four placebo pills.

How to take Yaz?

Yaz comes as a pack of 28 pills, one pill to be taken daily for 28 consecutive days, at the same time every day. 

How to take Alesse?

Alesse comes as a pack with either 21 or 28 tablets. The pack with 21 pills contains only active pills, while the 28 pill packet comes with 21 active pills and seven placebo pills. 

For Alesse 21, one pill is to be taken daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by a break of 7 days. 

For Alesse 28,  take the medication pill for 21 days, followed by a reminder pill for seven days. 

Here are certain directions for taking this medicine:

  • Take the pill once daily as directed by your doctor, preferably at the same time every day.
  • Follow the directions as mentioned on the Patient Information Leaflet
  • Use a backup contraceptive method such as condoms in case of diarrhea and vomiting.
  • One can take the pill at bedtime or after the evening meal, especially if you face nausea or an upset stomach with the medication.
  • It is essential to take this pill at the same time every day, 24 hours apart.

How else are Yaz and Alesse similar?

As mentioned before, both Yaz and Alesse pills include synthetic versions of estrogen and progestin hormones, which means they are produced in laboratories. 

Another similarity between Yaz and Alesse is that both medications are considered low-dose contraceptives. 

The term ultra-low-dose contraceptive often refers to pills containing 0.02mg dose or less.  This is because the amount of estrogen in various combination pills varies. As both Yaz and Alesse contain 0.02 mg of estrogen, they are considered ultra-low-dose contraceptives.  

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The benefits of ultra-low-contraceptive pills are that they have a lesser risk of fluid retention and headaches. They also work well in perimenopausal women who have irregular periods and hot flashes.

Benefits of Yaz and Alesse

As combination pills, both Yaz and Alesse can potentially help with:

  • Regulating menstrual periods
  • Minimizing blood loss 
  • Preventing pain during periods
  • Managing acne
  • Lowering the risk of ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer

Lower estrogen in a contraceptive pill increases the risk of spotting. So, if a woman has breakthrough spotting on Alesse or Yaz, she can shift on Marvelon as it has a higher estrogen dose. However, it is best to switch the contraceptive pills after consulting the doctor.

Similarly, both Yaz and Alesse have a similar side effects profile, including the following:

  • Abdominal bloating or cramping
  • Breast pain, swelling, or tenderness
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Back pain
  • Fatigue

Contact a doctor or medical professional if you experience any of the following serious side effects:

  • Mood changes (depression)
  • Breast lumps
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Continuous spotting, sudden heavy bleeding
  • Dark coloured urine

Yaz Vs. Alesse: Do They Cause Acne?

Hormones in Yaz and Alesse may help reduce the secretion from the skin glands responsible for acne, lessening breakouts.

Experts also believe that combined birth control pills may be an excellent alternative to antibiotics for managing acne in women.

So, these pills may aid in preventing or managing acne, and the prevalence of acne in women taking these pills is extremely rare.

Which Pill Causes More Weight Gain?

Usually, weight gain with hormonal pills is very rare. Even when a woman gains weight while on these pills, it is due to water retention and not because of an increase in fat.

As both Yaz and Alesse are ultra-low-dose contraceptive pills, water retention and thus weight gain is even rarer.

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Alesse Vs. Yaz Price Comparison

Alesse costs about $26 per pack, and Yaz costs $27. So, the cost of both medicines is almost similar.

Yaz Vs. Alesse: Reviews

Reviews of both the pills are quite similar. Alesse and Min-Ovral have an average rating of 5.2% and 5.9%, respectively.

Alesse reviews

The major benefit reported by the women on this pill is reduced cramps and flow during the menstrual cycle. 

The negative effect includes moodiness. They go through a lot of emotions and cry for no reason. However, this side effect is short-lasting and resolves within and few months of taking Alesse.

Yaz reviews

Women on this pill were happy as it did not cause bloating or weight gain and helped to regularize their periods. They were also happy that the pill cleared the skin and improved their sex drive.

When present, nausea and breast tenderness were the most common side effects. But these side effects resolved within a few months.

How Do I Get Yaz and Alesse?

Oral contraceptive pills are available only through a prescription from a registered physician in Canada. So, one needs to consult a doctor to get either of the birth control pills. The doctor will take a medical history. They will also inquire if you are taking any medicines or supplements.

These medicines may be contraindicated in some women, such as those with a history of smoking or a family history of breast cancer. So, your doctor will prescribe them based on your condition.

You can reach out to PocketPills and speak to us about how we can help make using birth control an easier experience.

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