What is Yasmin?
Yasmin is a type of contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy. It contains two different female hormones, drospirenone and ethinylestradiol, and therefore belongs to the group of contraceptive pills called “combined oral contraceptive pills” or “combination pills”.
How Yasmin works
Yasmin works by:
- Preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from your ovaries)
- Making it harder for sperm to reach an egg, preventing fertilisation
- Making it harder for an egg to become implanted in the lining of the womb, preventing pregnancy
How to start taking Yasmin
Yasmin is designed to be taken daily for 21 days, with a 7 day pill-free break each 21 days. You should take your pill at the same time each day and swallow it whole (with water if necessary). Do not chew or crush your pill.
Always start each packet by taking a pill from the packet marked with the correct day of the week. For example, if you begin your packet on a Monday, start by taking a pill marked ‘Monday’. Then continue to take your pill each day following the direction of the arrows on the pack until you have taken all 21.
Then for the next 7 days, take no pills. During this time, usually after 2 or 3 days, you will normally have your ‘period’ which is called a withdrawal bleed. After your 7 day break, you should start on your next packet of Yasmin.
Always start your next packet after a full 7 day break. For example, if you took your last pill on a Sunday, start your next 21 day packet on the Monday of the week following your 7 day break.
You should start your new packet of Yasmin after 7 days even if you are still bleeding.
As long as you have taken your Yasmin pills as instructed, you will not need to use extra contraception, such as condoms, during your 7 day break as you will still be protected.
If you are a new user or taking the contraceptive pill for the first time
Take one Yasmin pill on the first day of your period. This is known as day 1 of your cycle. You will then be protected against pregnancy immediately and you will not need to use other contraceptive precautions such as condoms.
You may instead take your first Yasmin pill on day 2 to 5 of your cycle, but if you do, you will need to use extra contraception such as condoms for the next 7 days.
Switching to Yasmin from another contraceptive pill
If you are switching to Yasmin from a different combination pill, preferably take your first Yasmin the day after your last active pill. You will not experience a bleed this month.
Alternatively, take your first Yasmin pill after your 7 day pill-free break or after your last inactive pill. (Some forms of the pill have 7 inactive pills that you take on your 7 day break, instead of taking no pills at all.)
You can take your first Yasmin pill on any day if you are switching from the progesterone only (or POP) pill. But you will need to use additional contraception such as condoms for the first 7 days of taking Yasmin.
If you are taking Yasmin after using a combination contraceptive patch or vaginal ring, consult with your doctor for advice on taking Yasmin.
What should I do if I miss a pill?
Missing a Yasmin pill means being 12 or more hours late taking your pill.
If you are less than 12 hours late taking your Yasmin:
- Take your pill as soon as possible, even if that means taking 2 pills in one day and carry on with your pack as normal. You will still be protected against pregnancy.
If you are more than 12 hours late taking your Yasmin, then your protection against pregnancy may be reduced. If you had unprotected sexual intercourse in the week before missing 1 or more Yasmin pills, you may be pregnant and you should speak to your doctor.
Your risk of becoming pregnant increases with the more pills that you miss. If you have missed more than 1 pill, you should speak to your doctor. Your risk will also be different depending when in your cycle you missed your Yasmin pill.
If you are more than 12 hours late taking your pill between days 1 to 7:
- Take your missed pill as soon as you can, even if that means taking two pills in one day. You should use extra contraception such as condoms for the next 7 days.
If you are more than 12 hours late taking your pill between days 8 and 14:
- Take your missed pill as soon as you can, even if that means taking two pills in one day and continue your pack as normal. During this time, your protection against pregnancy is not altered, so you do not need to take extra contraceptive precautions.
If you are more than 12 hours late taking your pill between days 15 and 21, you have 2 options:
- Take your missed pill as soon as possible, even if that means taking two pills in one day. Then continue with your pack as normal but do not take a 7 day break. Take the first pill from your next packet the day after the last pill from your last packet. You may have some light bleeding during your second pack, with a normal ‘period’ at the end. If you do not have normal bleeding, you may be pregnant and you should speak to your doctor.
- Stop taking the rest of your pack of Yasmin and have your normal 7 day break earlier. Then begin taking your next packet as normal. If you do not bleed during this time, you may be pregnant and you should speak to your doctor.
What should I do if I vomit or have diarrhoea after taking Yasmin?
If you vomit or have severe diarrhoea within 3 hours of taking Yasmin, there is a risk that your body has not absorbed the active ingredients contained within your pill in order for it to work properly.
You should take another Yasmin pill as soon as possible. If your vomiting and/or diarrhoea lasts for more than 12 hours, then you should follow the advice above for a missed pill.
If your vomiting and/or diarrhoea lasts for several days, you should take your pill as normal, but treat each day that you are vomiting or experiencing diarrhoea as a missed pill day and continue to follow the missed pill advice.
How effective is Yasmin?
When taken as instructed, Yasmin is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Who is Yasmin unsuitable for?
You should not use Yasmin if any of the following apply or have applied to you:
- A blood clot in a blood vessel of your leg (called a deep vein thrombosis or DVT), in your lungs (called a pulmonary embolus or PE) or any other organ
- A disorder affecting your blood clotting i.e. protein C deficiency, protein S deficiency, antithrombin-III deficiency, Factor V Leiden or antiphospholipid antibodies
- You need an operation or if you are going to be sedentary for a long time
- A heart attack or a stroke
- Angina or transient ischaemic attack (also called a mini stroke)
- Severe diabetes with blood vessel damage
- Very high blood pressure
- A very high level of fat in the blood (cholesterol or triglycerides)
- Migraine with aura
- Liver disease or tumour
- Renal failure
- Breast cancer or cancer of the genital organs
- Unexplained bleeding from the vagina
- An allergy ethinylestradiol or drospirenone
Can I take Yasmin if I am taking other medications?
Some medicines can interfere with the way that Yasmin works and cause it to be less effective at preventing pregnancy. You should tell the doctor prescribing Yasmin if you are taking:
- Hepatitis C medicines containing ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir or dasabuvir
- Epilepsy medicines such as primidone, phenytoin, barbiturates, carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine
- Tuberculosis medicines such as rifampicin
- HIV and Hepatitis C medications called protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, such as ritonavir, nevirapine or efavirenz
- Fungal infection medications such as griseofulvin or ketoconazole
- Arthritis medication such as etoricoxib
- Medication for high blood pressure in the blood vessels in the lungs such as bosentan
- The herbal remedy St. John’s wort
- Medicines containing ciclosporin
- Anti-epileptic medicines such as lamotrigine
- Theophylline used to treat breathing problems
- Tizanidine used to treat muscle pain and cramps
Can I take Yasmin when I am breastfeeding?
It is not normally advised that breastfeeding women should take Yasmin. If you do want to take Yasmin whilst you are breastfeeding, consult your GP.
What should I do if I become pregnant whilst taking Yasmin?
If you take your Yasmin pills according to the instructions, it is unlikely that you will become pregnant. But if you do become pregnant whilst taking Yasmin, stop taking your pills as soon as you realise you are pregnant, even if that is mid-way through your pack, and consult your doctor.