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Discussion over Safety of Yasmin Birth Control Lost in Recent Debate

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Washington, DCDuring the recent debate over the proposed requirement for employers to cover contraceptives for their workers, the question of whether Yasmin birth control drugs are safe has been lost in the shuffle, according to The Washington Post.

The news source reported that there have been a troubling number of developments regarding the safety of birth control pills, yet the national discussion has moved away from this notion.

According to the Post, several weeks before the contraception discussion captured headlines around the country, the US Food and Drug Administration said labels on the popular Yaz and Yasmin pills did not contain the information that they should concerning the potential side effects. The federal agency asked the company to put out a warning about possible blood clots being caused by the medication.

This call for a warning came following two studies that found those pills put women at a higher risk of blood clots. According to the news source, women began self-reporting health problems like blood clots on health boards online, and as of January, more than 10,000 lawsuits have piled up against Bayer by women who have suffered side effects after taking the drug.

Despite the problems with the pill, it has been applauded for being a "quality of life treatment" by several media sources, according to the Post.

"I'm surprised there has not been a broader call for more research, or wider public discussions of the risks of this pill. When a drug company is withholding data and 10,000 lawsuits are pending, more than research is needed," Elizabeth Kissling, professor of communication and women's and gender studies at Eastern Washington University, wrote recently. "I can't help but wonder why we're not seeing congressional hearings—akin to the 1970 Nelson Pill Hearings—again, and more of an outcry from both physicians and patients."

The US Drug Watchdog noted that it received an e-mail from a 19-year-old woman who suffered a stroke after using the Yasmin birth control pill. The agency noted that she was an athlete, with no known health issues, according to a release from the Watchdog.

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