As you probably know, I’m not a fan of the Pill for my own use, and I’m a firm believer that other women should get all the facts on the drug before taking it or continuing to use it year after year. Well, here are some more facts to add fuel to the anti-oral contraceptive fire. According to a story in the New York Post, actress Brenda Hamilton, who is an understudy in the Broadway musical Wicked, is suing Yasmin and Yaz manufacturer, Bayer. Why? She says that Yasmin caused her to have a stroke at the age of 27. Hamilton had no history of any health problems at the time of her stroke.

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Apparently, Bayer and the FDA have cited studies (two of which were funded by Bayer), which claim that Yasmin doesn’t increase the risk of blood clots. However, a recent study in The British Medical Journal found that women using Yasmin or Yaz, both formulated with a synthetic version of progesterone called drospirenone, were 6.3 times more likely to develop venous thrombosis, or blood clots, than women who were not taking any Pill. (Those taking any birth control pill were five times more likely, on average, to develop blood clots.) The increased risk with Yasmin or Yaz may be due to drospirenone’s action as a diuretic that thickens the blood to promote clotting. 

It is important to note that in this study, the women taking Yasmin/Yaz may have had various risk factors (like being over 35 or carrying excess weight) that contributed to the finding. Other factors that may perpetuate blood clots include family history, high blood pressure or smoking. Nonetheless, Hamilton didn’t have any of these risk factors…

The actress is one of over a thousand Americans suing Bayer, claiming their birth control pills caused serious or life-threatening health problems. Two class-action suits were also filed in Canada.

I figure I don’t need to editorialize here – these are just the facts. And knowledge is power, right?

Further reading: Some info on the nonhormonal IUD, Paragard and critically-acclaimed condoms.

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