Birth Control Litigation

Birth Defect Risks for Women Using Yaz

First approved in 2001 by the Food and Drug Administration1 (FDA), Yaz® has remained one of the nation’s top-selling birth control methods.2 Considered an advance in oral contraception, Yaz sometimes fails, meaning that some women do get pregnant while using the drug. As a result of a Yaz failure, mothers may be at risk for serious side effects, and unborn babies may be at risk for developing serious birth defects.

Pregnancy Category X Yaz and birth defects

Even though Yaz is considered 99 percent effective,3 women can still get pregnant while taking the estrogen/progestin-containing birth control pill. If a woman discovers that she is pregnant while taking oral contraceptives, she should contact her doctor immediately, as she and her baby may be at risk.

Yaz is a Pregnancy Category X drug.4 5 Studies show that Pregnancy Category X drugs have a confirmed risk for fetal abnormalities and that the risks in pregnant women may outweigh potential benefits.

For a pregnant woman, Yaz can cause specific side effects, such as blood clots and miscarriage. For unborn babies, birth defects can include, but may not be limited to:

  • esophageal atresia (upper food tract does not connect to stomach)
  • abnormal development of sex organs
  • delayed or abnormal bone development

Any one of these birth defects could lead to continuing medical problems, or even death.

Yaz Lawsuits and Recall

While many are not aware, Yaz was subject to a recall in November 2009.6 At that time, The FDA recalled Yaz and its generic Ocella because Bayer, the maker of Yaz, miscalculated the hormone levels in the popular birth control pills. More than 150 thousand total boxes of Yaz and Ocella were recalled.

While no other Yaz recalls have taken place, the drug has been the center of a number of Yaz lawsuits. In mid-March 2013, Bayer settled numerous personal injury lawsuits that claimed Yaz caused gallbladder disease and life threatening blood clots.7 At least one confirmed Yaz lawsuit has been filed on behalf of an infant injured by Yaz.8

Women who take Yaz to prevent pregnancy may not be fully aware of the potential risks for themselves or their unborn babies if the birth control pill fails. Yaz side effects may harm the mother, but Yaz birth defects could potentially harm the growing fetus.

For those women injured by their use of Yaz, there are legal remedies. For those women having babies born with birth defects linked to the hormone combination in Yaz, help is also available. An experienced personal injury, products liability, or mass tort lawyer can help you understand whether you have a claim and what your legal rights are.

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