Yasmin (Birth Control Pills) Uses and Precautions

Yasmin is a birth control medication to help prevent pregnancy, manage periods or control severe acne. Taking precautions before you start will help you avoid unpleasant side effects.

Yasmin is a birth control medication that is used to prevent ovulation. The resulting hormone flux will cause changes in the uterine and cervical lining which will make it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg so it cannot become fertilized. The primary reason for prescribing this medication is to prevent pregnancy, but some patients are also given this birth control to help make their periods more manageable or to help control severe acne caused by a hormone flux.

Precautions before Taking Yasmin

Those who have recently had a baby or may currently be pregnant should not use birth control pills. Due to the impact on the circulatory system, those who have conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, blood clotting disorders, trouble managing diabetes, unusual vaginal bleeding, circulation problems, severe migraines, those who smoke or those that have been treated for uterine or breast cancer may not be able to use Yasmin. If you have used other birth control pills in the past and they have caused you to have a heart attack, stroke, blood clot or jaundice you should not start using Yasmin.

If you are using antibiotics, barbiturate sedatives or medications to control HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C or seizures, they can impact your body's ability to properly absorb Yasmin doses. Talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking to determine how they will affect your Yasmin prescription.

Yasmin should be taken on a regular schedule. If you miss a pill, follow the instructions on the packet to deal with this condition. You may need to use back up birth control including spermicide or condoms if you have missed a dose of your medication.

How to Take Yasmin

Most doses of Yasmin will involve taking one pill every 24 hours. Try to take your pills around the same time every day to ensure that you have a consistent amount of the medication in your system at all times.  Yasmin pills will be given in packets that provide enough pills for one month to coincide with your menstrual cycle. These will include three weeks of pills that provide medication and seven "reminder" pills that you will take during your period. After these have been used, throw the packet away and begin a new packet. You will typically need to visit your doctor once a year to receive a new prescription for Yasmin.

Your doctor will either have you start your doses on the first day of your period or the first Sunday after your period has finished. This will largely be based on which will be easier for you to keep track of so you can easily take your medication at the appropriate time. It will take up to two weeks for the birth control to go into effect, so you will need to use backup birth control during this time. Follow all of your doctor's instructions regarding the size of your dose and when they should be taken. If no specific instructions were given, follow the instructions on the prescription package.

What to Do when Missing a Dose and Overdosing

Your prescription package should provide instructions on how to react if you miss a dose of your medication. You will need to use backup birth control if you miss a dose to help prevent becoming pregnant. If you do miss a dose and you realize your mistake the same day, take your pill as soon as you remember. Continue taking your medication on your regular schedule every day. If the pill you missed was from the remainder row, throw the missed pill away and return to your regular schedule the following day.

If you miss two pills from the active portion of the packet, take two pills for the next two days. Then return to your regular schedule, taking one pill at the same time every day for the remainder of the packet. If two pills have been missed you will need to use backup birth control for at least seven days after you discover the mistake to ensure that you do get pregnant.

If you miss three pills in a row at the beginning of a week, throw out the rest of your prescription package and start a new pack the same day. If you miss three pills in the middle of the week, finish out the week, then start a new packet of pills. If you miss two or more pills during the month you may not have a period. You may need to check with your doctor to ensure that you are not pregnant before you can refill your prescription.

If you take more pills than you have been prescribed or you have a strong reaction to Yasmin you can have an overdose. If you begin to experience sudden vaginal bleeding, nausea or vomiting, call a poison control helpline or emergency medical services to get help.

Side Effects of Taking Yasmin

Common side effects of Yasmin include tenderness of the breasts, mild nausea, darkening of the facial skin, hair loss, increased hair growth, changes in weight, changes of appetite, trouble wearing contact lenses, vaginal itching, vaginal discharge, decreased sex drive or changes in menstrual periods. These side effects are not dangerous, but you may wish to report them to your doctor to ensure that you are taking the right dose.

If you experience severe headaches, sudden numbness, particularly on one side of the body, chest pain, sudden cough, coughing up blood, pain in the legs, severe nausea, clay colored stools, jaundice, sweating in the hands and feet, symptoms of depression or breast lumps you should talk to your doctor right away. Stop taking Yasmin immediately if any of these side effects occur. If you feel as though your side effects are putting you in danger, contact emergency medical services to get help.

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