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If you ever watch TV, then you’ve probably seen at least one commercial for Yaz, a birth control pill that boasts the unique side effect of alleviating the symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a medical condition that is similar to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), but the difference is that the symptoms of PMDD are severe enough to affect your daily life.

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Yaz and its sister Yasmin, have marketed these products as being the solution to PMDD (as well as moderate acne) because of a chemical called drospirenone. Drospirenone is a type of hormone that Bayer uses in its birth control to help reduce bloating and alleviate the symptoms of PMDD.

Unfortunately, drospirenone also causes dehydration, which, in certain women, can have dangerous health effects. Allegedly, as a result of the drospirenone in Yaz and Yasmin, many women (of all ages and walks of life) have suffered from blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks, some of which have been fatal. Many of the victims had no pre-existing heart conditions, and some were as young as 16 years old.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the FDA hasn’t approved the use of these birth control pills as cures for either PMDD or acne. This is dangerous marketing that lures girls and women into buying a product that could easily kill them.

If you know a woman who is using Yaz or Yasmin, for whatever reason, make sure she knows the risks involved, and has talked to her doctor about other options that are available to her.

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