Although no studies have been conducted on Yaz and breastfeeding, the hormones in Yaz do pass through breast milk in low amounts. In general, women who are breastfeeding are advised to avoid combined contraceptives (such as Yaz) because they may decrease the production and quality of breast milk, among other things. Before using Yaz, breastfeeding women should talk to their healthcare provider about the potential risks.
Is Yaz Safe During Breastfeeding?
Yaz® (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol) is a combination contraceptive, containing both a progestin and an estrogen. In general, combination contraceptives are not recommended for breastfeeding women.
(Gianvi™, Loryna™, and Vestura™ are generic versions of Yaz. The information in this article also applies to these drugs.)
What Does the Research Say About Yaz and Breastfeeding?
The hormones in Yaz do pass through breast milk in low amounts -- probably too low to cause significant problems in breastfeeding infants, although this has not been confirmed by any studies. However, there is some concern that Yaz could cause problems in male babies, because drospirenone (one of the hormones in Yaz) works against testosterone and other male hormones. Also, there have been reports of problems, such as jaundice and breast enlargement, in babies whose mothers took similar birth control pills while breastfeeding.
More importantly, combination contraceptives may decrease the production and quality of breast milk. For this reason, healthcare providers almost always recommend progestin-only oral contraceptives (also known as "mini-pills") instead of combination contraceptives for women who are breastfeeding. However, progestin-only contraceptive pills are usually less effective than combination contraceptives. As soon as you stop breastfeeding, it may be a good idea to ask your healthcare provider about switching to a combined contraceptive product, such as Yaz.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 9, 2012.
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