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Yaz Uses

Yaz Uses for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

PMDD is more than just "PMS." Women with PMDD have severe symptoms for a week or two before their periods each month. These symptoms can interfere with school, work, and relationships. PMDD symptoms can include:
  • Mood changes, especially depression or mood swings
  • Anxiety or tension
  • Anger or irritability
  • Lack of energy
  • Appetite changes
  • Sleep changes
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Bloating and weight gain.
Yaz was the first birth control pill approved for the treatment of PMDD.

Yaz Uses for Acne

Acne is a common skin condition. Causes of acne can vary, but many cases are caused or worsened by hormones, particularly male hormones (known medically as androgens). Drospirenone, one of the hormones in Yaz, works against androgens, which is why Yaz may help with acne. The contraceptive is appropriate for treating acne in women who also want to take a birth control pill. If you do not desire contraception, other types of acne treatment may be more appropriate.

How Does Yaz Work?

As mentioned, Yaz is a combined oral contraceptive, a birth control pill that contains both an estrogen and a progestin. It primarily works to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also prevents pregnancy in two other, minor ways. Yaz alters the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Lastly, Yaz alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Yaz is different from traditional birth control pills in two important ways. First, 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.
Second, Yaz contains 24 active pills and 4 inactive pills, which have no active ingredients, compared to traditional birth control pills, which have 21 active pills and 7 inactive pills. Having fewer inactive pills seems to decrease some of the bothersome symptoms that occur just before and during your period.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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