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Yaz (Drospirenone) Birth Control Danger Fact Check

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

New article of mine up on Suite101. Finally. It’s amazing how full-time jobs kill creative endeavors.

This article is a derivative of my post Planned Parenthood is a Pussy About Litigation, except less use of pussy puns and more statistical analysis:

The Truth About Yaz (Drospirenone) Birth Control Dangers

“To put the risk of developing a blood clot from a birth control pill into perspective: The risk of blood clots is higher when using any birth control pills than not using them, but still remains lower than the risk of developing blood clots in pregnancy and in the postpartum period… For example: If 10,000 women who are not pregnant and do not use birth control pills are followed for one year, between 1 and 5 of these women will develop a blood clot.”

According to that statistic, the chance of a woman having a blot clot while not on the pill is between 0.0001% and 0.0005%. Hard figures for an increase in risk don’t exist because of conflicting data. But even if you multiply it by a conservative factor of seven, the risk remains well below 1 in 1,000.

Is it a statistically significant increase? If it were, wouldn’t the FDA simply recall the drug and pull it from pharmacy shelves?

Read more at Suite101: The Truth About Yaz (Drospirenone) Birth Control Dangers | Suite101.com

The FDA report was actually like over 50 pages long, and had a lot of extraneous information about what birth control is. I read mostly the parts about the two FDA-funded studies, and there was info about seven other medical studies involving drospirenone. It was a long and tedious task. You’re welcome, women.

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Planned Parenthood is a Pussy about Litigation

The Young Turks discuss a pro-life group’s “sting” operation at Planned Parenthood:

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Sex-selective abortions are legal in Austin, Texas. The counselor explained to the woman her options available under the law. Live Action reportedly edited out the part of the video where she talked about adoption as an option.

Planned Parenthood fired the woman anyway, because it is against their policy to advocate sex-selective abortion. They then said they were “retraining” their employees. That’s what really bothers me about this story; if they failed to train their employees properly to begin with, then that is on them, not her. This woman, who seems like a thoroughly decent person, shouldn’t have her career ruined because of this stupid video. As TYT points out, it legitimizes the effectiveness of what is essentially propaganda.

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I went to Planned Parenthood today. I’ve been going there for years for my pills, and this was the first time I ever actually saw a protestor with a fetus poster. He looked very lonely.

Anyway, I was on Yaz a few years ago and in addition to the lack of baby, it made my skin pregnancy-glow awesome. I quit due to costs. (It’s a relatively new drug and I’m sure has a long patent life ahead.) But today I mentioned possibly switching my pill back. The doctor said it is now Planned Parenthood’s policy to no longer prescribe Yaz due to the increased risk of embolism.

It’s time for another edition of “Candice Reads Primary Source Articles So You Don’t Have To.”

Here’s the Yaz (drospirenone) study from BMJ:

Conclusion: After adjustment for length of use, users of oral contraceptives with desogestrel, gestodene, or drospirenone were at least at twice the risk of venous thromboembolism [outlink mine] compared with users of oral contraceptives with levonorgestrel.

The study methodology looks pretty solid to me. It had a good sample size and controlled for a lot of variables. The important part to take away is the interpretation of the conclusion.

What’s the baseline risk for venous thromboembolism?

The risk, like everything, depends on your genes. The incidence of VTE* is about 1 in 1,000 each year, which, if you think about in terms of percentage, is a 0.001% rate. Men are at higher risk than women. Asian and Hisapnic women are at lower risk than Caucasian or African. High BMI is also a risk factor.

Those stats not only include men, but whatever women were on birth control. So even if you multiply that risk by seven (6-7 times more at risk than women not on birth control is what the BMJ study suggests), I still don’t think it’s clinically significant. If it was, the drug would have been pulled from pharmacy shelves a long time ago.

As a skinny, half-Asian, with no family history of VTE, I want my Yaz back.

*American Heart Association

Changing the tone of the birth control debate

Jezebel:

Women like Fluke are persuaded to emphasise health and negate sex as a primary reason for contraception, and so-called feminists are ramping up the demand for the same by insisting that they don’t fuck and if they do, it would never be wantonly or like “sluts.” Rather than insist that Fluke is not a slut, feminists ought to state, loudly and clearly, that contraception should be provided regardless of a woman’s sex life. The fight for contraception is currently based on arguments about women’s health or, as Fluke delicately puts it, the prevention of pregnancy. It’s time we began acknowledging that women need contraception because they like to fuck. Perhaps if we were more willing to talk about ourselves as sexual beings, right-wing hypocrites would have much less ammunition against us. After all, if a slut is not afraid of openly being one, who can possibly shame her into silence?

Yes.  Also, in argument of control and convenience, choosing NOT to bleed is the greatest invention of the 20th century.

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