Birth control warning: Yaz responsible for deaths of three Japanese women

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Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced on Friday that there is irrefutable proof of a direct correlation between taking the oral contraceptive Yaz, which has been on the market since 2010, and increased risk of thromboembolism. The ministry said three women have in Japan died from blood clots caused by taking the popular birth control pill and called on manufacturer Bayer to include warning information in the drug's package insert.

Yaz contains estrogenic and progestational compounds, which help regulate hormonal balance and reduce menstrual cramps. However, taking the estrogenic hormone can lead to blood clots, increasing the risk of thrombosis.

The first victim was a woman in her 20s who died from a blood clot in the brain last June two weeks after taking Yaz. The second victim was in her early teens. Blood clots were found in her lungs last September after she died. The latest victim was a woman in her 40s who died from blood clots in her lungs and legs this January.

Doctors suggest immediately that you immediately stop using the pill and seek emergency medical care if you develop any of the following symptoms: acute pains in the lower extremities; oedema, also known as dropsy; sudden shortness of breath; chest pain; severe headache; paralysis or weakness of the extremities; alalia, or inability to speak; and acute loss of vision.

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