Yasmin During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

by on August 14, 2012

Yasmin (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription oral contraceptive used to prevent ovulation and pregnancy. However, some may wonder about the effects of this medication in women who are already pregnancy or are breastfeeding.

Can Pregnant Women Take Yasmin?

As with any other birth control pill, Yasmin should not be taken during pregnancy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies this drug as Pregnancy Category X medication which means that can cause serious harm such as miscarriages or birth defects on the unborn child when taken during pregnancy.

Although Yasmin is considered a pregnancy Category X medication, it is not expected to cause problems when taking during the first few weeks or months of pregnancy. When Yasmin was evaluated in women, 14 participants accidentally became pregnant while using this birth control pill. One of these women gave birth to a child with problem of the esophagus, although it is not known whether the defect is due to Yasmin.

Animal studies reveal that drospinone (one of the active ingredients of Yasmin) may increase the risk of miscarriages and birth defects. When given to animals during the latter stages of pregnancy, male offspring developed feminine characteristics, perhaps it is because the pills interfere with the body’s sex hormones, particularly testosterone and other male hormones. It is not known whether this adverse effect will also occur in humans.

If you have unintentionally taken Yasmin during pregnancy, it is unlikely to cause problems although it is best to contact your healthcare provider. If you accidentally become pregnant, discontinue taking this drug immediately. If you think you are pregnant, contact your healthcare provider right away for further instructions.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Yasmin?

In general, oral contraceptives such as Yasmin are not recommended for breastfeeding women.

Clinical studies reveal that the active ingredients of Yasmin are likely passed through the human milk in low amounts. The amounts excreted into the breast milk are probably negligible enough to cause significant problems in the nursing infant, although more studies are needed to establish its safety. However, since drospirenone (an active ingredient of Yasmin) is known to inhibit the effects of testosterone and other male hormones, it can cause some problems in the production of breast milk. Furthermore, there have been reports of nursing infants who developed problems, such as jaundice and breast enlargement, after exposure to combined oral contraceptives through the breast milk.

More importantly, combined birth control pills including Yasmin may cause a reduction in amount and quality of breast milk produced. Normally, healthcare providers recommend breastfeeding women to use oral contraceptives that contain only progestin (also called “mini-pills”) instead of combined contraceptives. Take note that progestin-only birth control pills are less effective compared to combined contraceptives. Women who are switching from mini-pill to combined contraceptives after they stop breastfeeding should inform their healthcare provider.

If you plan to breastfeed or are breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before taking Yasmin. Your healthcare provider can give you recommendations regarding the use of this drug. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend continuing treatment while breastfeeding or changing it with other birth control methods.