Stroke From Birth Control: Symptoms & Treatment

A sudden weakness in one of your arms, stumbling or falling for no apparent reason, or losing the ability to ask for help – these are all symptoms of stroke. Maybe this frightening event has happened to you or someone close to you. The truth is, stroke is common, especially if you smoke, have diabetes, suffer from high cholesterol, or have poor blood circulation.

In addition, taking certain medicines, like oral contraceptives, can increase your chance of having a stroke. In fact, birth control pills that contain drospirenone and ethynil estradiol hormones have been proven to cause more serious health problems than other available oral contraceptives. If you believe that you or a loved one has experienced an adverse reaction such as a stroke from birth control pills like Yaz, Yasmin or Beyaz, the following information may be helpful.

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke is an interruption of oxygen to brain tissues caused by a blood clot that blocks an artery. These clots often originate in the heart due to inadequate cardiac output, an arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat. Basically, the blood that pools in the heart clumps together, and is sometimes later ejected through the arterial circulation and into the brain. However, anything that promotes blood clotting can cause a stroke. Recently, more women are reporting incidences of stroke from birth control pills, like Yaz and Yasmin.

How Can Yaz, Yasmin, and Similar Drugs Cause Strokes?

The FDA has issued warnings about the increased risks of health problems in drugs containing drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol, like Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz, and Ocella. In particular, patients taking drospirenone birth control pills are three-times more likely to develop blood clots than those taking other types of birth control pills. Evidence shows that the synthetic combination of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol can cause excessive blood clotting, leading to heart attack, pulmonary embolism, DVT, and stroke. These fatal events can occur even in young, healthy women.

Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke

If you, or someone close to you has a stroke, you may not notice any symptoms. However, if you observe any of the following problems, you should contact 9-1-1 immediately:

  • Facial drooping (especially on one side)
  • Inability to move either arm
  • Inability to talk
  • Sudden weakness or loss of coordination
  • Collapse
  • Confusion
  • Severe unexplainable headache
  • Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes

Do not attempt to drive yourself or another person with these symptoms to the hospital. Ambulance transport offers the best chance of survival and recovery.

How Is a Stroke Typically Treated?

Getting immediate treatment for stroke will greatly improve the chances of recovery. In fact, medical professionals aim to begin treatment within an hour. In addition, stroke victims who receive anti-thrombolytics (clot-busters) have a 30 percent chance of making a disability-free recovery. Medical personnel commonly perform MRI or CT scans to determine the size and location of the blockage. Additional treatments for stroke usually involve stabilizing the patient with oxygen, and performing emergency surgery to remove a clot or stop bleeding in the brain. If significant brain damage has occurred, extensive therapy and life-long supportive measures may be required.

Can a Stroke Be Avoided?

You cannot change some of the risk factors associated with stroke, such as age, gender, and race. However, there are several things you can do to decrease your chances of having a stroke. Ways to avoid stroke include:

  • Stop smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly – at least 30 minutes most days of the week
  • Obtain regular health checkups, including blood pressure checks
  • Avoid taking medications that make your blood clot, like oral contraceptives

After Experiencing a Stroke from Birth Control

A stroke is a frightening life event that can have permanent implications. Victims or their families naturally look for explanations for their injury or loss, especially if they feel that the tragedy could have been avoided. If you or our loved suffered a stroke from birth control, you should be aware of your legal options. Bayer, the maker of Yaz and Yasmin, has set aside one billion dollars for past and future injuries associated with their birth control pills.