Yaz, Yasmin Deaths: Birth Control Pills Suspected In 23 Tragic Deaths Of Canadian Women [REPORT]

By Philip Ross on June 11, 2013 7:51 PM EDT

birth control deaths
Yaz and Yasmin, two of the most widely-used birth control pills, have been linked to the deaths of 23 women in Canada who died suddenly of blood clots. (Photo: Reuters)

Yaz and Yasmin deaths are being reported in Canada after 23 women, who were all taking the popular birth control pills, died suddenly of blood clots. The Canadian government recently linked the girls' deaths to the use of "newer-generation" birth control pills. Toronto's CTV News reports that most of the deaths occurred soon after the women began taking the birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin.

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"Some involved pulmonary embolisms, meaning blood clots that had travelled to the lungs," the news outlet reported. "Others appeared to have died of heart attacks or cerebral thrombosis, meaning blood clots in the brain."

According to CBC News, in 2011, Health Canada, the government department responsible for the country's national public health, warned that Yaz and Yasmin had a 1.5 to 3 times higher risk of causing blood clots. The department cited drospirenone, a synthetic progestin present in "newer-generation" birth control pills like Yaz and Yasmin, as the reason for the heightened risk of deadly blood clots.

"The major side effect that we're alleging is worse with Yasmin than with other oral contraceptives ... an increase of blood clots," Matthew Bayer, who represents hundreds of women in Ontario in a class action lawsuit against drug company Bayer, told CBC News.

Reuters reports that back in Nov. 2011, researchers in Canada found that women taking newer birth control pills like Yaz and Yasmin had a higher risk of blood clots than previously suggested. Their study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, states that Yaz and Yasmin pill takers were more likely than users of other pills to form blood clots known as venous thromboembolisms. From Reuters:

Overall, there were just over six cases of venous blood clots per 10,000 Pill users each year in the study. But the risk was 43 percent to 65 percent higher with drospirenone-containing pills, compared with older, so-called second- and third-generation pills.

Blood clots are a serious medical condition and can form in the veins of a person's legs, arms, lungs and even groin, and can obstruct an artery or vein in the heart. According to the American Society of Hermatology, certain risk factors like obesity, smoking, certain cancers, and oral contraceptives slow the flow of blood in the veins.

Symptoms of a blood clot include chest pain, shortness of breath and sweating. Visual disturbances, speech impairment and seizures can also occur.

Read more from iScience Times:

Birth Control Pill Recall: Why Is Alysena-28 Being Yanked From Shelves?

Morning After Pill For 15-Year-Old Girls; Why Did FDA Lower Age For Plan B Pills?

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