UPDATE: There have been reports this morning that up to 600 Australian women are considering taking legal action against the pharmaceutical group Bayer, who are the makers of contraceptive pills Yasmin and Yaz.
The women say they’ve suffered side effects, such as blood clots, after taking the pill.
It’s previously been documented that women have a heightened risk of blood clots when they take Yasmin and Yaz. This is a post written by Mamamia’s Deputy Editor Lucy Ormonde about what to do if you’re a women who’s currently taking one of those pills….
I’m trying really hard not to freak out right now.
But recently, there’s been a string of reports in the media suggesting the contraceptive pill I takes leaves users with a greater risk of blood clots, heart attacks, strokes and blindness.
Anyone one else out there on Yaz or Yasmin?
But seriously. I’ve been taking Yasmin on and off for around six years now and I’ve never had a problem. But after seeing these reports I’m keen to know whether I need to get up from my desk and mainline for the GP and get my script changed for something that doesn’t, you know, want to kill me.
In a detailed feature this month, Marie Claire looked at the claims that have been made that Yaz and Yasmin give women a six-fold increase of suffering from blood clots.
The magazine followed the story of US woman Carissa Ubersox who was taking Yasmin when she suffered a blog clot that travelled to her lung and caused a double pulmonary embolism. When Carissa woke up form a coma 14 days later, she had almost completely lost her vision.
This from Marie Claire:
“I wasn’t able to breathe,” recounts Carissa with a quavering voice. Tyson was with her and called an ambulance. “But on the way down in the elevator, my heart stopped.”
Carissa was clinically dead for four minutes before paramedics revived her. She then fell into a coma for 14 days. As soon as she awoke, she knew something was drastically wrong.
She could hear her mother’s voice breaking with tears and the doctor instructing her to wriggle her toes, but she couldn’t see anything. The once healthy, happy woman had woken up blind.
The blood clot attacked Carissa’s eyes so savagely that she remains almost completely blind to this day, without hope of recovery. “I don’t want another 20-something woman to have to learn how to tie their shoelaces, or talk, or learn how to wash clothes,” she reasons. “It’s horribly difficult, an unimaginable thing to have to do.”
When Yaz and Yasmin first came onto the market in the early 2000s they were labelled as a “break through for women”. Or the “miracle” contraceptive. (Yasmin came out in 2001, its “sister” contraceptive Yaz came out in 2006).
They’re more expensive than other pills, but attractive to many women because they contained something called progestogen drospirenone which is effective in reducing the symptoms of PMS and acne.