Review your contraceptive: Yasmin

Review your contraceptive: Yasmin

After seeing Anna’s ace post reviewing her contraceptive, I decided to review mine! Hopefully this will be helpful to those of you thinking about changing or starting contraception. Are you using something else? Review it!

What is Yasmin?

Yasmin is a drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol contraceptive pill. These are two hormones which prevent an egg from properly forming, and Yasmin is one of several contraceptive pills known as “combination” pills.

What dose do you take?
Each pill is 3 mg of drospirenone and 0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol, and I take one pill per day for 21 days. Some brands of combination pill come with 7 inert pills to complete the 28-day cycle, but I take a 7-day break after each pill packet.

How do you obtain it?

I first went to my GP and was initially given a 3 month prescription. I have low blood pressure which meant that my doctor was keen to regularly check up on my progress on the pill, although I was eventually given a 6 month prescription. At uni, I head to the sexual health drop-in at the health centre, and after my last check up I was given a 1 year prescription. The check up consists of having my blood pressure taken, discussing side effects, checking my BMI and talking through my general health.

How long have you been taking it?

I’ve been taking it since I was 16, so 7 years.

What are the side effects?

The possible side effects listed in the packet are:

  • Depressive mood
  • Headache, migraine
  • Nausea
  • Breast pain
  • Body weight changes
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Acne
  • Sickness
  • Changes in blood pressure
I haven’t particularly experienced any side effects from Yasmin. I do think my weight changed after going on the pill, but this could be down to getting older and my metabolism changing as well.

What are the pros?

  • I’m not pregnant!
  • I had severe period pains which came to a head one afternoon when I was writhing on the floor of my bathroom and was taken to A&E. Being on the pill has almost eliminated this, meaning I can get on with my day and avoid being confined to my bed!
  • My doctor told me that this is a relatively safe pill to run packets together, meaning I don’t always need to have a period if it is a bad time. Please note that you should discuss your individual pill and body with your doctor before running packets together, and it can cause spotting during the month.
  • When not running pill packets together, I find the regularity and shortness of my periods very helpful in planning and avoiding anxiety.
  • Whilst you should take Yasmin at the same time each day, you still have 12 hours of protection which is good if you’re moving around or forgetful.
  • Very clear instructions are included should you miss a pill or be worried about your prescription.
  • There is also a little envelope for carrying them around discreetly (this isn’t something that bothers me but it might be helpful for some people)
  • I have not experienced any horrible side effects – I was on Microgynon 30 (another combination pill) for some time before switching to Yasmin and although it got rid of the hellish pain, it gave me terrible daily headaches as well as mood swings and depression. I’m really glad I switched!

What are the cons?

  • I have very occasionally forgotten a pill (although the instructions are good should this happen).
  • I have been on the pill for quite a long time (I think about 8 years including the Microgynon 30) because it is so easy. I have considered having a coil or an implant instead, but I’m reluctant to have hormones put into me considering my previous bad experience. I recently discussed this with my doctor and she reassures me that the consequences of long term contraception are not necessarily awful, and I’m happy with my choice at the moment. (Again, do discuss things like this with your doctor if you’re having the same concerns).
  • Yasmin is one of the more expensive contraceptive pills on the market, and I feel bad that the NHS has to fund this for me. However, my health is very important to me so I would rather this than take one of the cheaper pills that make me unwell.

Overall…

I have had a great experience taking Yasmin, and others I have spoken to have felt similarly about it, but I do have to stress that everyone’s experiences are unique. Whilst I have considered changing my contraception, for now I’m very happy to continue taking this pill.

I would definitely recommend talking to your GP if you are having a bad experience on any contraceptive pill or believe you are suffering from side effects (especially the more serious ones). My GP was very open to changing my prescription and recently took me off Yasmin for a month long break to check for a side effect. Just because you have been on something for a long time does not mean that your body and your hormones won’t change. It’s always worth talking about these changes and discussing any worries you might have!

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