Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. For women, the risk factors can vary, but medical experts agree that oral contraceptives (birth control pills) can affect a woman’s risks for certain cancers.1 Today, one of the most popular oral contraceptives is Yaz®. This birth control pill was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 20012 and then approved for use for PMS symptoms in 2006.3 In the past several years, Yaz has been linked to several side effects and risks.
Side effects and complications associated with Yaz
The Yaz birth control pill contains two hormones—a synthetic progestin (drospirenone) and a type of estrogen (estradiol). Both of these birth control hormones have been known to cause side effects. Known Yaz side effects and complications include:4
- Mood changes
- Vascular problems
- High blood Pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Migraine headaches
- No or abnormal menstrual periods
- Breast tenderness
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Cervical dysplasia
- Heart attack
- Brain hemorrhage
- Liver disease, including skin and eye yellowing (jaundice)
- Blood clots
- breast tenderness
Certain symptoms, such as breast tenderness and abnormal menstrual periods, are common, while symptoms such as stroke and heart attack are rare.
Yaz and cancer risks
In addition to these general complications, Yaz has been linked to certain cancers and increased cancer risks:5
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Ovarian cancer6
The risks are linked to the hormones contained in the birth control pill. For instance, estrogen- and progestin-sensitive cancers are affected by Yaz. A Michigan State University study went confirmed the claim that progestin and progesterone increased risk for women to develop more invasive and deadlier forms of certain cancers.7
The Yaz 2009 recall
Few people know that the FDA issued a recall of Yaz in November 2009.8 The Yaz recall involved 32,826 boxes of Yaz and 122,208 boxes of the generic Ocella. In the FDA warning letter, the reason for the recall was explained. Apparently, Bayer, the maker of Yaz, had miscalculated the hormone level values of the drug.
Yaz has reigned as the most popular oral contraceptive in the nation for many years. Still, the drug has several problems and is the subject of countless lawsuits. If you or someone you know have suffered problems from your use of Yaz, then you may be entitled to legal protection. Contact an experienced personal injury or products liability attorney for help.