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Getting Off Yasmin Birth Control “Saved My Life” Teacher Says

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Toronto, ONHer name is Karen Littlewood and she’s a high school teacher in Alliston, a suburb of Toronto. Last year she was watching an episode of the popular Canadian consumer advocacy television show Marketplace, broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for some 40 years, when an investigative segment on Yasmin birth control “saved my life.”

Littlewood contacted Marketplace with her story on Yasmin side effects, and related how she had begun to watch the episode and “the first story is about someone who had a serious blood clot, but fortunately she survived.

“The second story, not so good, started out talking to the family, and that person wasn’t as fortunate - she died.”

Both were young women in their early 20s.

What concerned the dedicated teacher is that Yasmin birth control is what she had been taking for contraception.

She went to her doctor and asked to stop taking Yasmin. Not long after, Littlewood had a health scare…

“One night I was lying in bed and I thought I was having a heart attack. It was like my heart was pounding, and my arm hurt, and I was dizzy…”

Littlewood reported to the hospital in Barrie, Ontario. After undergoing some tests, including a CT scan, it was determined that Littlewood had probably suffered not only a blood clot, but the scan revealed a series of multiple pulmonary embolisms.

Littlewood told the CBC that had she not seen the Marketplace television program on Yasmin; “I would have trusted that the pill was fine, I would have stayed on it, and I really truly believe that something worse would have happened, I would have had a more severe clot, and I might not be here now, and my kids wouldn’t have a mother, and my story might have ended differently.” reported on the fate of the two Canadians, one who survived and another who did not, last year, when we focused on Yasmin blood clots and the equal potential for Yaz side effects.

Yasmin and Yaz are manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, and are third-generation birth control pills containing a synthetic hormone. Promising various added-value benefits such as less severe bloating and even clearer skin, the contraceptive duo was marketed to young women and quickly gained a sizable market share. However, various studies - not all of them conclusively, it should be noted - have pointed to increased risk for Yasmin DVT (deep-vein thrombosis, or blood clots) when compared with first and second-generation birth control pills.

Health Canada and its US counterpart the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have both mandated stronger warning labels articulating the possibility of increased risk for blood clots.

Bayer, in defending Yaz birth control pills and its close cousin Yasmin, correctly point out that all oral contraceptives carry some risk for blood clot. However, Bayer steadfastly denies that Yasmin and Yaz carry a higher risk for Yaz blood clots or similar adverse events associated with the Yasmin pill, than any other oral contraceptive on the market.

Karen Littlewood begs to differ. She is convinced her decision to back away from Yasmin saved her life. Others were not so lucky, with many a Yasmin lawsuit alleging that lives have been lost - and many young lives - due to Yasmin and DVT, and Yaz side effects.


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