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:
- 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.
- 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.
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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