How Does Yasmin Work?

Yasmin® (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription oral contraceptive. Some people may wonder, "How does it work?"
Yasmin is a combined oral contraceptive, a birth control pill that contains both an estrogen and a progestin. It works to prevent pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also prevents pregnancy in two other, minor ways.
The medication also alters the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Lastly, Yasmin alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Yasmin is different from traditional birth control pills in an important way. The progesterone that it uses (drospirenone) is closely related to spironolactone, a medication used as a diuretic ("water pill"). Drospirenone has anti-androgenic activity, which means that it works against testosterone and other "male" hormones. All women have a small amount of these "male" hormones that can cause acne and other problems.
Also, drospirenone may increase the level of potassium in your blood, which can be a problem for some women.
(Click Yasmin for more information on how the drug works, to find out when and how to take this form of birth control, and to learn about the side effects associated with this oral contraceptive.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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