Study Finds Link Between IBS and Yaz, Yasmin, Other Drospirenone Pills

New research suggests that side effects of Yaz, Yasmin and other drospirenone-based birth control pills may increase the risk of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

In a study published earlier this year, research at the University of British Columbia compared the use of birth control pills containing drospirenone, a “fourth generation” progestin found in Yaz, Yasmin and other newer pills, to older birth control medications.

According to the findings, there was a positive association between a diagnosis of IBS and Yaz, Yasmin and other drospirenone pills, which was not found with other types of oral contraceptive.

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

Researchers looked at data on nearly 1 million women ages 18 to 46 and found that they were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with IBS after starting a regimen of drospirenone-based birth control than women who took pills using the progestin levonorgestrel. About 0.77% of all women who take Yaz or similar birth control pills would be diagnosed with IBS within 90 days of starting on it, compared to 0.46% of women on older forms of birth control, the study determined.

Irritable bowel syndrome, more commonly known as IBS, is a chronic condition that involves symptoms like severe abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating and altered bowel habits, which can involve diarrhea or constipation. There is no known cure for IBS, and it can have a significant impact on quality of life.

Birth control pills with drospirenone were first introduced with the Yasmin pill in 2001, combining the progestin with the estrogen ethinyl estradiol, as a once-a-day birth control pill. An updated variation was introduced in 2006, under the brand name Yaz. More recently a third variation, known as Beyaz, was introduced, containing a folate supplement. Generic versions of Yaz and Yasmin are also now available under a variety of different names.

As a result of aggressive marketing, primarily directed at younger women, Yaz and Yasmin became popular birth control pills, quickly capturing a large share of the market for oral contraceptives.

In recent years, substantial concerns have emerged about the safety of drospirenone birth control pills, including research that suggests women face an increased risk of blood clots with Yaz and Yasmin, which could be reduced with use of certain older birth control pills.

Bayer, the manufacturer of Yaz, Yasmin and Beyaz, currently faces thousands of lawsuits filed by women who allege that the drug maker failed to adequately warn about the risk of blood clots, stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and other health problems.

While recent reports suggest that some settlements have been reached in Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits, the drug maker continues to face a large number of claims and lawyers continue to file new cases on behalf of women throughout the United States.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this article indicated that this study was published in Standford University’s Highwire. However, it was conducted by research at the University of British Columbia, Canada.


  • crystalAugust 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    trying to contact someone about info about ibs and yaz?

"*" indicates required fields

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.