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The Yaz birth control pill is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It has a lower dose than many other combined pills, so isn’t as likely to cause vaginal dryness or a drop in libido.

Looking for protection that doesn’t tip the hormonal balance? We can help. Talk to our experts to get advice on what pills are out there. Order Yaz online and get your pill delivered regularly, direct to your door.

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This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a doctor.

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What is the Yaz pill?

Yaz is a combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP). It’s a cyclical pill you take at the same time every day to get the most out of the treatment. There are two synthetic hormones in it that adjust the menstrual cycle and stop the body from releasing an egg for fertilisation.

A pack of Yaz pills contains 24 active and four inactive pills. The four inactive pills are spacers (pills without any active ingredient), which you take until you’re ready for the next pack. That way you keep up the habit of taking a pill at the same time each day.

How does Yaz work?

There are two hormones in Yaz tablets: drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol. These are very similar to progesterone and oestrogen, hormones that naturally occur in your body.

As part of the menstrual cycle, these natural hormone levels rise and fall, kickstarting ovulation (the release of an egg) and other processes.

Yaz uses hormones to trick the body into thinking that ovulation has already happened, so no egg is released. These hormones also stop the wall of the uterus from getting thicker, which makes it more difficult for a fertilised egg to settle there. They also change the consistency of cervical fluid, so sperm can’t reach the egg in the unlikely event the first two methods have failed.

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How to take Yaz

Yaz needs to be taken at the same time each day. To help you to get into the habit of doing this, taking it as soon as you wake or during a meal you have at the same time each day are handy tips for remembering when to take it. Yaz can be taken with or without food.

Each blister pack contains 28 pills. The 24 light pink pills contain the active ingredients and are taken once a day for 24 days of the cycle. This is followed by four inactive white pills taken for four days. After you’ve taken the fourth inactive pill, you start a new pack the next day.

What to do if you miss an Yaz pill

If you miss a light pink, active tablet (tablets 1-24 of your blister strip), you should do one of two things.

If less than 24 hours have passed since you missed your tablet, your contraceptive protection isn’t affected. You should take the missed tablet as soon as possible and take any tablets that follow as normal.

If you’re more than 24 hours late taking your tablet, your protection from pregnancy could be impacted. The more tablets you’ve forgotten to take, the more likely it is that you’ll get pregnant.

Your risk of insufficient protection from pregnancy is highest if you forget to take a light pink tablet at the start or at the end of your strip.

If you’ve missed more than one tablet in a strip, you should speak to your clinician. If you forget one tablet between days 1-7 (the first row), take the tablet you missed as soon as you can, even if you have to take two tablets at the same time. You should keep taking the tablets as normal and use additional protection for the following seven days, such as a condom. If you’ve had sex in the week prior to missing your pill, you may be pregnant. You should get in touch with your clinician.

If you miss one tablet between days 8-14 (second row), take the tablet you missed as soon as you can. This may mean taking two tablets at once. Keep taking your tablet as normal. Your protection from pregnancy isn’t affected, and you don’t need to use additional contraception.

If you miss one tablet between days 15-24 (third or fourth row), you can do one of two things:

  1. Take the tablet you’ve missed as soon as you can, even if you have to take two tablets at the same time. You should keep taking any tablets that follow as usual. Rather than taking the white placebo tablet on this strip, dispose of them, and start the next strip (the starting day won’t be the same). Normally, you’ll get a period at the end of your second strip, whilst you’re taking the white placebo tablets. But you may experience light bleeding or bleeding that’s like menstruation during your second strip.
  2. Stop taking the active light pink tablets and move straight onto the four white placebo tablets (before you start to take the placebo tablets, make a note of the day on which you forgot your tablet). If you’d like to start a new strip on the day you normally would, take the placebo tablet for fewer than four days.

If you forget to take any of the tablets in a strip, and you don’t experience a bleed on the days you take the placebo, you could be pregnant. You should speak to your clinician before you start your next strip.

What is the effectiveness rate for Yaz?

Combined birth control pills like Yaz are more than 99% effective as long as they’re taken correctly. This means that out of 100 women taking Yaz over one year, fewer than one will become pregnant. That makes it one of the most effective methods of birth control available.

With ‘typical’ use, which takes into account forgetting the odd pill every now and then, effectiveness is reduced to around 92%. That’s eight out of every 100 women becoming pregnant over one year of taking Yaz.

Medically reviewed by
Dr Daniel Atkinson
GP Clinical Lead
on August 02, 2022.
Meet Daniel  
This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

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When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

FAQ: Yaz

Have something specific you want to know about Yaz? Search our info below, or ask our experts a question if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Yaz and Yasmin: what’s the difference?

Yasmin contains the same active ingredients as Yaz but a slightly higher oestrogen dose. Isabelle and Petibelle have exactly the same dose of active ingredients as Yasmin. They should all work in exactly the same way in the body, and be just as effective at preventing pregnancy.

Side effects on Yaz are less likely to occur when compared to these higher strength treatments, so that’s something to consider when choosing a treatment if you’re sensitive to oestrogen in particular.

What are the hormones in Yaz?

Yaz contains ethinylestradiol and drospirenone. These are synthetic or man-made versions of naturally occurring hormones. Developed in a laboratory, they’re used in many areas of medicine, not just contraception.

Birth control pills have either a type of progesterone or synthetic versions of both progesterone and oestrogen. If they contain both, like Yaz, they’re known as combined pills.

Can I take Yaz for acne?

Some women find that Yaz helps with acne. If you often get acne when you’re about to have your period, let us know during your consultation so we can recommend a pill that could help.

It’s important to note that Yaz, and contraceptive pills more generally, aren’t always effective at controlling acne. So if your acne becomes uncomfortable, it’s better to see a doctor about other treatments that may be able to help.

Does Yaz cause weight gain?

While there has never been a proven scientific link established between hormonal birth control and weight gain, it has been reported as a side effect. But there are a lot of factors that can influence a person’s weight, so this needn’t necessarily be down to the pill. Weight loss has also been recorded as a side effect of contraceptive pills like Yaz.

If you do notice significant weight or appetite changes after taking Yaz, you can always talk to a clinician through our chat feature to explore what might be the cause and find a solution.

Can I take Yaz for PMDD?

Yaz is sometimes recommended for women who have premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). That’s when you feel depressed and irritable before your period starts and it impacts your quality of life. PMDD is a severe form of PMS.

Yaz isn’t licensed for use in PMDD but evidence suggests that it is safe and effective to be used in this way, if you do, you may need to be monitored by your doctor, so be sure to mention the condition . This way you can be sure to have the best options to choose from.

Why should I buy Yaz online with Treated?

In short? It’s convenient and you’ll get unlimited access to our medical experts. We’re here to help you find the treatment that’s right for your life. And we also want the treatment you get to carry on being the right one for you.

All you need to do is tell us about your health and the kind of pill you’re looking for. It’s easy with our online consultation. We’ll show you which treatments are safe: but you have the power to choose the treatment you prefer, how often you want to receive it and when. You’ll also get frequent, expert aftercare from our clinicians, to help you make sure the pill you’re using continues to be the best option for you.
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Our average rating based on 3254 reviews.