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Although Yaz is primarily used for preventing pregnancy, it can also help treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder and acne in women who desire contraception. This prescription oral contraception works in several ways: It stops ovulation, alters the cervical mucus, and changes the lining of the uterus. There are also several off-label Yaz uses, such as treating painful menstrual periods and controlling heavy menstrual bleeding.
Yaz Uses: An OverviewYaz® (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription medication used to prevent pregnancy. In addition to being a birth control pill (an oral contraceptive), it is approved to treat the following conditions:
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in women who desire contraception
- Acne in women who desire contraception.
Yaz Uses for Birth ControlMany different birth control options are available today. Each method has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and no particular birth control method is right for all women. Some of the most commonly used birth control methods include:
- Combined hormonal contraceptives (which contain a progestin and an estrogen) -- most birth control pills, patches, and rings
- Progestin-only contraceptives -- some birth control pills ("mini pills"), injections, and implants
- Barrier contraceptives -- condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and various other methods that physically block the sperm from entering the uterus
- Spermicides -- foams, jellies, gels, suppositories, and inserts
- Periodic abstinence, sometimes known as natural family planning or the rhythm method -- avoiding intercourse during the fertile phase of your menstrual cycle
- Withdrawal -- removing the penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs) -- implanted devices that are both effective and reversible
- Surgical sterilization -- tubal ligation (getting your "tubes tied") or a vasectomy (for men).
Some methods of contraception fall into more than one category. For instance, the Today® sponge works as both a spermicide and a barrier contraceptive. Yaz falls into the category of combined hormonal contraceptives, as it contains both an estrogen and a progestin. Some benefits of combined hormonal contraceptives include:
- An effective birth control method
- Lighter menstrual bleeding
- Regular menstrual cycles
- Less menstrual pain
- A decreased risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).
However, combined hormonal contraceptives may increase the risk of blood clots and other problems, and not all women should take them (see Yaz Warnings and Precautions for more information). As with almost all methods of birth control, combined hormonal contraceptives must be used correctly and consistently.
It is important to know that Yaz does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Yaz to prevent transmission of STDs.