I was approached by a website to do a link exchange. As I’ve written before – this is nothing too new. The new part was a seemingly directed interest in a certain pharmaceutical: Yaz.
Personally, I am no fan of birth control. Not for the birth control part. I’m a big fan of exercising control over such issues. Big Fan! I just don’t believe that anyone (and by that I also mean any doctor, pharmaceutical company or researcher) has the info to rearrange an individual’s body systems for any directed purpose. Especially one as all-encompassing as the entire sexual hormone production of a person. (Like that’s not going to have consequences.)
Now I’ve attended, worked at and worked out at a university for most of the last 20 years. This means that I see how particularly birth control is marketed to the young women of the university. I have never seen the side effects listed – if at all – in print larger than 10 point. This includes on posters that are more than 2×2 feet in size. They are always an after-thought, as if it didn’t matter as long as the ‘prime objective’ was served.
Well, as someone who cannot take birth control due to blood clots, I haven’t been keeping up with the new types and brands. [I remember getting the usual follow-up at the doctors’ office and had high blood pressure. I’m thin and eat well and was very young at the time (~20) so there was no reason for this. My cholesterol turned out to be dangerously high. Higher than some of the obese people I knew at the time. Then came the blood clot – behind the knee (one of the most common places to notice leg clots as a layperson) and that was the end of my trials (which included over a dozen different varieties) with chemical birth control.]
So I was inspired to investigate Yaz. Drug Watch is a site with an interest in informing the public about drugs that have proven to have harmful side effects.
And Yaz is in their sites.
In the interest of fairness – I visited the Yaz site. It first wanted me to input the DIN before I could enter. I guess they don’t want anyone who doesn’t already possess the drug to visit them. (Interesting marketing idea – don’t let people make informed choices or bring information to their doctors – no, trust in your sales team to reach every doctor and give out enough samples that people who are interested will already have the drug in their hands.)
Once you enter the DIN, they ask if you’re 14 – the minimum age for usage – that’s all that’s on the page too. A picture and that question. Then you’re into the ‘highly informative’ yet ‘jazzy’ site.
Seriously, they must think every young woman is a moron – or listening to Rush Limbaugh (same thing)- had to throw that one in – what a buffoon. (Hey Rush, not every woman wants to be a 20 year old swimsuit model – for all of time. Just because that’s what you want women to look like doesn’t mean that’s what they want -but I’m sure you don’t understand the concept of No Means No either. BTW do you also expect your mom, Mrs. Limbaugh to look like a swimsuit model?)
When you finally get into the Yaz site – there is nominal information about the product. You have to listen to this ridiculously lame video that states right in it -that all of the side effects and warnings are on the drug pamphlet that you, the viewer of the site, already has. CUTE. What’s next, telling me that any adverse effects I might experience are my fault for having the drug in my hand in the first place? (Blaming the doc’s now?)
The site also does another ‘clever’ thing – they’ve put all the text in as a picture. That way it isn’t search-able. Take a look at the bottom of the screen – I’ve typed in nausea which appears as the first word under the heading beginning “The most common side effects . . .”
The blue bar at the side does another interesting marketing thing – it doesn’t indicate size. Most such navigational tools show a large or small bar depending if there’s a bit more on the page or lots more on the page, respectively. So you have to scroll through the whole thing to find out how much info there is
And as usual, it’s written at a grade 4 level and contains very little actual information. Hence the need for Drug Watch or more local for me C-Health. I like their site too because it gives the facts straight up with just some advertising (Huggies, that kind of thing) and general health stuff too. One of the things I found regarding Yaz was a list of states of being that were incompatible with Yaz:
They also had an easy to find and read list of drug interactions. I had to zoom out 4 times to get this list as one screen shot. 4 times – how dangerous is this drug? And why is it made out to be – for ‘everyone’ who is over 14, less than menopausal and a non-smoker. (Good thing most public places are smoke-free. Perhaps that will eventually mean most people are too.)
I also found an interesting blog post regarding Yaz and hair loss. If the bloating, gas, weight gain and irritability wasn’t enough to make you completely unattractive (I’m assuming this is of a modicum of import if the person taking the pills is concerned about birth control) the loss of hair will seal the deal.
It explains how this young lady had hair loss problems with Yaz – especially after halting the pills. What was more telling to me were the comments. So many not only found the site, read the post but also shared their own stories of horror. And here’s just one:
don’t think I’m losing that much hair as you said in the 300’s. I was on yasmin for 5 years and loved
it except it made me bloated and i’m a normal/thin body type but i didn’t really care. I thought my hair
was started to thin out after my 5th year so I switched to yaz, plus my dr had free samples and coupons
bc i dont have insurance. i was on yaz for 5 months. it was so horrible with my moods and just not
well feeling. (plus i was a total bitch and never wanted sex) after the 3rd month of being on yaz i noticed
my hair started to fall out as i washed it and combed it. It was all over my clothes and weirdly you could
see “hair balls” on my clothes after they came out of the washer! so this is my first month off yaz and free
of bcp all together. let me know everything that you tried bc it is extemely frustrating and i dont have
the money to be going to drs. I went to 2 diff derm drs who charged me $120 each just to tell me to go
on rogaine! this is my 2nd month on rogaine and nothing has really changed. im 24 and i eat extremely
healthy and dont dye or blow dry my hair and had blood work done that came back normal.
Now I know that birth control is important – even if the Republicans don’t. (Check out Freakonomics’ take on the government-forced lack of birth control in Romania and what it’s
results were – if you don’t remember the rampant stories coming out of Romanian orphanages that is.) Bottom line, women raise children. And, if they don’t want them – they won’t be raised in a way that benefits those who live among them. That’s all the rest of us. All The Rest Of Us.
There are options – but Yaz doesn’t seem to be one of the universally wonderful ones.
Brought to you by You Get Well Soon – practical packs for hospital stays or stops.