Yasmin is a combination birth control pill that uses both ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen hormone) and drospirenone (a progestin hormone) to prevent pregnancy. When taken as directed, Yasmin is 99% effective.

How Does Yasmin Work?

Yasmin birth control comes in either 21 or 28 pill packages. The 21 pill pack contains only active pills, and the 28 pill pack contains 21 active pills and 7 placebo pills. The active tablets in Yasmin contain both estrogen and progestin, while the inactive pills do not contain any hormones. The purpose of the 7 placebo pills in the 28 pill pack is to keep people in the routine of taking their birth control pills daily.

If you are using the 21 pill package, take one tablet daily for 21 days. When the 21 pill package of Yasmin is complete, no tablets should be taken for the next seven days. After seven days have elapsed, resume the same 21 days cycle with a new pack of Yasmin. Your menstrual period should arrive during the seven days when no pills are being taken.

In the 28 pill package, there are 21 active pills and 7 placebo pills. For the 28 pill package, one pill is taken every day until the package is complete, after which a new pack of Yasmin should be taken right away. Your menstrual period should arrive during the seven days that you’re taking the placebo pills.

How Do I Get Yasmin Birth Control?

Yasmin requires a prescription from your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional. Any pre-existing medical conditions, medication you’re currently taking, and other factors will need to be reviewed to ensure Yasmin is the best contraceptive option for you. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can answer any specific questions that you may have.

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What are the Benefits?

When used as directed, Yasmin is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. In addition to preventing pregnancy, Yasmin has additional benefits.

Yasmin can be used to skip or shorten menstrual periods. Users of Yasmin can skip their periods by taking an active pill every day without any breaks or placebo pills. Users who wish to shorten their periods may do so by taking more active pills, and fewer skipped or placebo pill days. For example, a user can take active pills for 25 days straight, skip three days by taking either no pills or placebo pills, then start the 25 active pill cycle again. Taking the pills in this manner will result in a menstrual period that lasts approximately three days.

Users of Yasmin may also gain some relief from PMS (premenstrual cycle) symptoms. These symptoms may include cramps, nausea, headaches and acne. Using Yasmin may also result in decreased endometrium thickness. Decreasing the thickness of uterine tissue is beneficial, as it can result in lighter periods and a lower risk for endometrial cancer.

Yasmin is also used for treating acne. You will likely see improvements in your complexion from being on Yasmin. The progestin hormone in Yasmin (drospirenone) counteracts the effects of testosterone. Too much testosterone hormone triggers acne flares by promoting sebum production in the skin.  

Furthermore, the progestin hormone in Yasmin (drospirenone) tends to cause less water retention. Theoretically, Yasmin is less likely to cause weight gain and bloating as a side effect compared to other types of birth control pills.

What are the Disadvantages?

While Yasmin may have some benefits that make menstrual periods easier, there are some cons and side effects to look out for. Yasmin does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. For protection from STIs, the best forms of protection are barrier contraceptives (condoms, for example) or abstinence. Yasmin may cause an upset stomach in some people. Taking Yasmin with food or at night can help curb stomach aches.

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In addition to stomach aches, some side effects of Yasmin include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness
  • Increased facial hair
  • Changes in appetite
  • Facial skin changes (darkening, spots or freckles, etc.)
  • Hair changes (hair growth on the body and hair loss on the scalp)
  • Increased potassium level
  • Blood clots, especially if you are a smoker over 35 years old

This list is not exhaustive. Any potential side effects and your predisposition to them should be discussed with your pharmacist or healthcare provider.

Compared to other oral contraceptives, Yasmin may be more likely to cause blood clots due to the type of progestin hormone (drospirenone) it contains. The actual risk of having a serious blood clot is generally very low if you are healthy. However, if you have other risk factors for blood clotting, speak to your doctor first. 

Oral contraceptives are a popular form of birth control in Canada as they are easy to use and easy to access with a prescription. If you’re thinking of making Yasmin your primary method of birth control, be sure to speak to your doctor or pharmacist to see if this is the right method of birth control for you. When you’re ready to fill your birth control prescription, contact Pocketpills to see how we can help you. 

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