web analytics

Yaz Birth Control Pills

Yaz birth control pills

Table of Contents

What are Yaz Birth Control Pills?

Yaz birth control pills are monophasic, combination oral contraceptive pills used to prevent pregnancy. They contain drospirenone (progestin) and a low dose of ethinyl estradiol (estrogen).

In addition to being approved for the prevention of pregnancy, Yaz birth control pills are also approved for the treatment of acne in women of at least 14 years of age and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

How Do Yaz Birth Control Pills Work?

Yaz works similarly to other birth control pills. These birth control pills work mainly by preventing ovulation from occurring. In other words, it stops the ovaries from releasing an egg, without which pregnancy cannot take place.

Additionally, Yaz causes changes to the cervical mucus and uterine lining. It can make the cervical mucus thicker which makes it harder for sperm to reach the egg.

It also makes the uterine lining thinner. Thus, on the off-chance that ovulation does occur and the egg is fertilized, a thinner uterine lining makes it harder for the egg to attach to the uterine wall.

Important Information About Yaz Dosage

Yaz dosage

Yaz birth control pills differ slightly from most other combination hormonal birth control pill brands. Unlike other brands which require you to take hormone-containing pills for 21 consecutive days, those on Yaz need to take hormone-containing pills for 24 consecutive days.  This means that you will have to wait four days before beginning a new pack.

One active tablet of Yaz contains 3 mg of drospirenone (progestin) and 20 mcg of ethinyl estradiol (estrogen).

With perfect use, this pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, with imperfect use, its effectiveness drops to around 92%.

It’s important to note that Yaz birth control pills do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like HIV/AIDs. Always use barrier contraceptives such as the condom or the female condom to prevent the spread of STIs.

Yaz for Acne

Yaz for acne

Yaz is one of four birth control pills that’s approved by the FDA for treating acne. The other two are Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Beyaz and Estrostep.

According to a clinical trial for Yaz for acne, those who have acne “have sebaceous glands that are over-stimulated by male sex hormones.” These male sex hormones are also called androgens.

Yaz helps reduce acne because the progestin, drospirenone, blocks these acne-causing androgens. Furthermore, according to Bayer, estrogen-containing hormonal birth control pills like Yaz also tend to increase levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in the blood. This can also help reduce acne because SHBG is capable of binding, thereby deactivating androgens like testosterone.

Yaz Weight Gain

Yaz weight gain

The most common side effects that come with most birth control pills are weight gain and bloating. According to InformedHealth.org, the reason for this is that hormonal birth control like the pill can prompt your body to retain fluids. This fluid retention can lead to unwanted weight gain.

While Yaz isn’t guaranteed to prevent weight gain, some women have experienced little to no weight gain or bloating while on this pill. This is likely because of drospirenone, the progestin component.

Drospirenone, a synthetic progestin, also acts as a diuretic. Thus, it helps your body flush out the fluids instead of holding on to them. In this way, it can result in less bloating and weight gain.

As mentioned, Yaz weight gain is subject to your personal experience with the drug and how it affects you.

It’s also important to note that drospirenone tends to hold on to potassium. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, as noted in the PubCamdatabase, extra potassium levels could cause health and heart problems for those who:

  • Heavily use anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Have liver, kidney, or adrenal disease

Yaz Side Effects

Yaz side effects

As with other birth control pills, you may experience some side effects with Yaz. According to Bayer, nausea and vomiting are often the most common side effects. Per the drug’s contraceptive trials, these side effects occur in around 10% or fewer of patients during their first cycle. Some other side effects that occur less frequently and aren’t very serious include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Change in menstrual flow and cycle
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Spotting
  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Headache
  • Hair loss
  • Breast tenderness or soreness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Change in appetite

Other Yaz side effects that are more serious but not very common include but aren’t limited to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Migraines
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Disturbances in liver function
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired kidney function
  • Formation of gallstones
  • Depression

In addition to these side effects, there is an increased risk for other serious adverse reactions. According to Bayer, some of these include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Blood clots in the arteries or veins
  • Cerebral blood clots
  • High blood pressure
  • Gallbladder disease

Yaz Reviews

Currently, on Drugs.com, out of 509 Yaz reviews, this birth control pill has an average rating of 6.7 out of 10.

Reviews are mixed. However, most women have had positive experiences with Yaz for acne, PMDD, and weight gain. Overall, common complaints about Yaz birth control pills are related to mood swings, headache, and nausea.

While some women have positive and others have negative experiences with Yaz, it’s important to remember that everyone responds differently. As such, Yaz reviews will not always indicate if the pill is right or wrong for you. With that said, be sure to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns about this pill.

If Yaz or other birth control pills aren’t right for you, there are many other birth control options available!


Medically reviewed by Dr. Gerardo Sison, Pharm.D.

Dr. Gerardo Sison, MD

Gerardo Sison, Pharm.D., is a registered pharmacist who has worked in clinical and retail settings providing drug education for healthcare professionals and patients alike. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida where he earned a Doctorate of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.). He piloted a longitudinal clinical research program and completed his clinical internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Read More >>