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Stories Behind the Yasmin Birth Control Statistics

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Washington, DCWhen Yasmin birth control and its close cousin Yaz were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), young women looking for a bigger basket of benefits from their oral contraceptives embraced the new-age product from pharmaceutical giant Bayer.

And while the initial euphoria has been stemmed thanks to thousands of lawsuits alleging Yasmin blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and various other side effects, the statistics don't reflect the emotion or everyday frustrations of Americans who have experienced grievous health issues—even death—at the hands of these third-generation birth control products.

The Yasmin pill was initially given the nod by the FDA in 2001, with Yaz following 5 years later. Both contain the estrogen Ethinyl estradiol, which is common in a variety of birth control products. What sets Yasmin and Yaz apart—together with Ocella, which is a generic form of Yasmin released after Bayer's initial patent expired—is the addition of the progestin drospirenone. The latter is unique to Yasmin, Yaz and Ocella and is thought to play a role in the development of serious Yasmin side effects.

There are many stories, according to consumers who have taken to cyberspace to write about their experiences.

One woman is on disability and jobless after suffering a cerebral thrombosis (major blood clot) on the right side of her brain. She blames Yaz.

Another identified herself as an otherwise healthy 25-year-old and a non-smoker (smoking is said to increase the risks of blood clot). She describes noticing numbness in her right foot just a day after starting on Yaz birth control pills. Three days later her entire right side was numb. A CAT scan and MRI confirmed a stroke. She noted her intent to pursue the services of a Yaz lawyer.

Yet another healthy woman of 28, also a non-smoker and regularly active, suffered a mini stroke due to her use of Yaz.

One man who's wife had been taking Yaz for less than three months suffered a major stroke from which she was still recovering after a year of treatment. The fellow writes that he has basically been reduced to a single dad to his three kids and serving as caretaker for his debilitated spouse.

And this:

"On July 11, 2007 the Yaz birth control pill KILLED [author emphasis] my 20-year-old daughter." The grieving parent noted the young woman began experiencing shortness of breath and was diagnosed as suffering from bronchitis, rather than a series of small Yaz blood clots that would claim her life a week later.

And while some, to be fair, have had no adverse experiences with Yasmin DVT or Yaz side effects, one contributor who identified herself as a nurse working in a large neuroscience unit specializing in stroke care, noted her shock at the increase in relatively young women experiencing devastating strokes.

"As I fall into the demographic of many of these women I began researching their common risk factors and across the board they were all on Yaz. All are not select incidents of this medication, this is an epidemic.

"I am not litigious by nature, but unfortunately all too often the only thing that gets drug companies attention is their wallet. This medication needs to be taken off of the market and we all have a responsibility as women to let ALL [author emphasis] of our girlfriends know the dangers of this medication are so much more real than the quickly glossed over potential side effects that we all hear on the commercials."

Various studies have found that Yasmin birth control and Yaz present a higher risk for blood clots than older, traditional first and second-generation birth control pills.

Bayer has countered, correctly, that all oral contraceptives carry some risk for blood clot, and thus Yasmin blood clots and corresponding problems with Yaz are no different. Thousands of Yaz lawsuits and corresponding Yasmin litigation suggest otherwise…

READ ABOUT YASMIN BIRTH CONTROL LAWSUITS

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READER COMMENTS

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I was on yasmin for more than a year and experienced horrible bloating and swelling, occasional numbness in my left thigh and migraines. A few months after starting the pill I started having pain in my upper right side, I told the dr about it and he didn't think it was pill related, but thought it could be my gall bladder. Side affects escalated to the point I could not stand it and stopped taking it, side pain continued to get worse, a few years later I had testing done on my gall bladder and it has stopped functioning. I had it removed . I attribute these problems to yasmin.

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