Yasmin is a birth control medication approved for the prevention of pregnancy. It is composed of two hormones -- drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol -- which work in combination to prevent pregnancy through different mechanisms. A regimen of Yasmin requires 21 days of active medication and seven days of non-active medication. When taken as prescribed -- without missing a pill and at the same time every day -- Yasmin is 98 to 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.
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Mechanism of Action
Yasmin is best taken in the evening or at bedtime. It works by suppressing hormones that promote pregnancy, preventing ovulation from occurring, making the womb unfavorable for sperm entry and changing the composition of the cervical lining to prevent egg implantation. Apart from preventing unplanned pregnancies, Yasmin also has other health benefits.
Since the body adapts to a monthly regimen of 28 pills of Yasmin, it maintains the same hormonal level each menstrual period, and over time, Yasmin regularizes the menstrual cycle, making it more predictable. Yasmin also reduces menstrual pain and discomfort, decreases the amount of blood loss per cycle and reduces the duration of the menstrual period.
Reduced Incidence of Anemia
Yasmin reduces the incidence of anemia, which can be caused by low iron supply in the body. Iron is made by red blood cells. Since Yasmin reduces total blood loss during menstruation, iron levels are maintained and the incidence of anemia from iron depletion is decreased.
Reduced Incidence of Cancers
Long-term use of Yasmin reduces the incidences of cancers of the uterus lining and ovaries. However, like other hormone-based birth control pills, it can increase the incidences of cervical and liver cancers. According to the National Institute of Cancer, the effect of birth control pills on breast cancer is uncertain.
Since Yasmin prevents ovulation, the incidence of ectopic pregnancy -- a situation where the egg is implanted outside the uterus -- is reduced. Ectopic pregnancy can be fatal to the mother since the implanted egg can rupture and cause internal bleeding. Yasmin also reduces the incidence of cyst formation in the ovaries, promoting general ovarian health.
When taken for a long time, Yasmin protects the breasts from noncancerous growths such as cysts and lumps. Yasmin may also reduce the incidence of menstrual-related breast discomfort.
Yasmin can reduce the incidence of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is a serious disease that occurs when an infection spreads from the vagina and cervix to the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Untreated PID can cause infertility as well as destroy the reproductive organs.
Even though Yasmin has several beneficial effects, it also has certain risks such as increased incidence of blood clots, depression, migraines, weight changes, gallbladder abnormalities and swelling of the breasts. These should be taken into consideration prior to starting the medication.