Articles Comments

Instead of the Dishes » Health, Health & Fitness, Mommyhood » Coping with Yaz Withdrawl

Coping with Yaz Withdrawl

There are three main side effects of Yaz, Yasmin, Safyral, Beyaz, and their generic versions that myself and every other woman I’ve talked to or read forum posts from deal with: Anxiety, Nausea, and Fatigue.  Unfortunately, each of these symptoms feed one another, so that after a while, it’s difficult to discern what is causing each symptom.  Fatigue can cause anxiety, which causes nausea.  Nausea (and therefore not eating) can cause fatigue due to lack of nutrients.  And at least for me, I had anxiety about why I was so nauseous.

Many women either don’t experience these symptoms at all until after they stop taking Yaz, or, they see a significant increase in symptoms once they are off the pill (as I have). These symptoms have been reported to last anywhere from a couple months to several years. The thing that sets the Beyaz family of birth control pills, which are all classified as 4th generation progesterones, apart from others is that they contain a new synthetic hormone called Drospirenone. Although it is THE most commonly prescribed birth control in the US, there have not been any long-term studies on the drug, and there have been no randomized control trials for psychiatric effects. So, with no “historic” information to go off of and no real answers from Bayer, the maker of these pills, coping with the symptoms, often likened to going through “withdrawl”, is difficult to say the least.

With three months of the withdrawl process under my belt, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my coping strategies for others, since I know there are a lot of women dealing with this.  I should note here that I am not taking any medications of any kind at this point, and have not been for three months.

Fatigue

After a month or so, I finally figured out that fatigue was the key to control.  If I was tired, I had more anxiety and more nausea.  Sleep became a top priority for me so that I could take care of my other top priorities (mainly, my kids). So, if fatigue is part of the symptoms that you are struggling with, get more sleep and see if it doesn’t help in other areas.  If you have difficulty sleeping at night, try to swing a nap during the day.  You can also try melatonin to help you sleep better.  (I haven’t tried it)

Nausea

I started out calling it food aversion and comparing it to morning sickness (although I never actually had morning sickness).  My doctor called it food fear.  I eventually came to refer to it as chemically-induced anorexia. I’ve been lots of different kinds of nauseous, but nothing so consistent as this. With a 24-7 upset stomach, food never sounded good. When I did eat, it was only because my hunger pains were overpowering the other pain in my abdomen and GI. If this is you, I feel for you. The best advice I can give is start slow and eat what you can. Here are the foods that I found easiest to eat:

  • raw almonds – bland and meaty with lots of nutrients
  • bananas – the potassium helps with stomach cramps and they are also high in B6, which has been shown to ward off PMS symptoms, including moodiness.
  • applesauce – easy to digest
  • smoothies (try adding some soy protein – more on that below)

I steered clear of things that are traditionally difficult to digest – dairy and breads. I also found that it was easier to eat later in the day, so I broke all the typical rules and ate most of my calories toward the end of the day.

Because my abdominal pain was chronic (persistent for almost two months) my doctor ordered an ultrasound to make sure that everything below my belly button was functioning properly. Even though the results were normal, I am still glad I had this done, as it took away some of the stress (and hypochondria) of wondering if I had IBS, appendicitis, or ovarian cancer.

Anxiety

While my issues with fatigue and nausea have pretty much gone away (as long as I get plenty of sleep), I still struggle with anxiety.  Here are the things I’ve tried to help with this aspect:

  • Test Hormone Levels – Testing your hormone levels is a simple blood draw.  Mine came back normal, but again, I am glad that I had this done so that I could take that concern off of my list.
  • A stress-relief supplement – early on, this did not help at all, but now on days when I find I’m jittery, I take Stress Shield by Country Life, which I picked up at Whole Foods.  It seems to help keep me calm, and I don’t have to take it on a daily basis to see the effects.
  • A whole body cleanse – a month and a half after quiting Yaz, I did a whole body cleanse.  I used the First Cleanse by Renew Life, also purchased at Whole Foods.  I have never done a cleanse before, so I was a bit nervous, but this 14 day program (two pills in the morning and two at night) was easy and gentle.  It really did take my symptoms down a few notches. Of course, I have no idea how much of these results would have happened anyway, or if going through the cleanse was psychosomatic, but I would definitely classify it as beneficial (and my doctor agreed that it couldn’t hurt, at the least.).
  • A Daily Vitamin – as soon as my stomach could handle it, I started taking a daily multivitamin.  With the weird diet, it made me feel better knowing I was helping my body get the vitamins it needs.
  • Exercise – to be quite honest, exercising simply caused me more fatigue, which exacerbated my other symptoms.  So, I’m just now getting back into exercising on a regular basis, starting with short, 30 minute workouts.
  • Soy – I read a couple forum posts from people who had found relief by incorporating large amounts of soy protein into their diets.  This makes sense because Yaz is an anti-estrogen pill, and soy has something in it that mimics estrogen.  I was hesitant to try this because of all the genetic engineering that Monsanto has done to pretty much our entire country’s soy bean crops.  But, the other day I found an organic soy drink on the clearance shelf at Kroger.  So, I picked up a few cartons and have been drinking about 8 ounces of that every couple days.  Again, not sure if it’s helping, but it’s not hurting.
  • Tracking Symptoms – I like to keep a record of things, so when my doctor asked me to keep a symptom log, I was surprised I hadn’t thought to do so myself.  I’ve started using an app on my phone called OvuView.  It’s free, and I’m super impressed with it.  It’s designed to track your monthly cycle, and you can customize it to track different symptoms (including fatigue, nausea, and anxiety) based on what you are using the app for.

And finally, there are a few other ideas for dealing with Yaz withdrawl that I have not yet tried:

  • Taking Another Birth Control Pill – I am super hesitant to do this, but my doctor has prescribed Estrostep, a birth control pill that is the chemical opposite to Yaz.  The thought is that by taking Estrostep, I might be able to swing my body back toward the way it was before I took Yaz.  I’m concerned about basically putting myself back to square one if I have a negative reaction to this new pill.
  • Taking an anti-anxiety med – While I’ve considered this, I’m not yet willing to go this route, either.  I’m concerned about becoming dependent on another type of medication, and also about whether being on an anti-anxiety pill will affect my brain function or emotions (not that either of those are tip-top at the moment…).
  • Naturalistic medicine – Naturalistic doctors are MDs too, they just tend to take a more holistic approach to things (fewer medications with chemicals and such).  I have no idea if a Naturalist could give me any more answers than anyone else has, and there aren’t many of them around.

Overall, after three months, I feel like patience is key (I have to keep telling myself this).  It is incredibly aggravating to be “out of sorts”, but I just keep convincing myself that this is all temporary.  I think that things are getting a tiny bit better each month, but it’s a painfully slow process.  If you are reading this because you are dealing with Yaz withdrawl, know that you are not alone!

Related Posts:

Yaz and Anxiety – My Personal Experience
Thankfulness – A New Perspective

Filed under: Health, Health & Fitness, Mommyhood · Tags: , , , , , ,

16 Responses to "Coping with Yaz Withdrawl"

  1. […] Yaz and Anxiety – My Personal Experience Coping with Yaz Withdrawl […]

  2. […] I have increased soy in my diet intentionally in an attempt to try to balance out my hormones after I quit taking birth control.  My kids eat soy products in moderation, and organic soy milk is part of our […]

  3. website says:

    Is it okay to insert a portion of this in my webpage if I publish a reference to this webpage?

  4. Fawn says:

    As long as you post three sentences or less and send me a link to your webpage! If you re-post much more than that, google will penalize both our sites. Thanks!

  5. […] Thankfullness – A New Perspective Coping with Yaz Withdrawl […]

  6. poindexter says:

    I just stopped taking yaz one month ago, for the last 6 months i took only half a yaz pill each day, trying to wean so as to not get rebound acne (acne being the main reason why i went on it in the first place).
    I felt fine up until now. But now I’ve started having anxiety and been unable to sleep or eat…my appetite is completely dead, just the symptoms you described. Also anxiety seems much worse when i try to sleep, been having lots of nap jerks and heart racing.

  7. Fawn says:

    I remember the nap jerks well. I will say that now, a full two years later, I am almost completely back to my normal self. I do hope that some of the tips I offered in my post can be of help to you. Another thing you might try that has helped me is a juice cleanse. I did a three day juice cleanse last January and am planning to do it again this month. Here’s another of my posts with details on it: http://insteadofthedishes.com/blog/2013/01/30/3-day-juice-cleansefast-part-1-the-process/. Hugs to you.

  8. Masana says:

    hi there, thank you so much for this! I’ve decided to stop taking Yaz after 8 days because of a similar experience with Minerva that had me in depression for three years.

    But what do I do from here? I’m young and newly wed, I want to try another contraceptive but am so afraid!

  9. Fawn says:

    Welcome! I’m sorry to hear about your trouble with birth control, but it sounds like you are headed in the right direction. I’m not a health professional, but I would definitely recommend having a conversation with your doctor to find the best answer for you. If you aren’t comfortable with what your doctor tells you, find another one. Perhaps an IUD or a pill with a different type of hormone base would be a better solution for you. Just remember to do your research before starting with a new contraceptive!

  10. Ans says:

    Hi, I realize you posted this a while ago, but I was wondering how long it took you off of Yaz or similar medication before these symptoms set in. I have been off for a few weeks and just started having nausea and some other strong symptoms. Was your withdrawal response immediate? Thanks.

  11. […] I still get lots of comments on the blog posts that I wrote about how I dealt with my “Yaz withdrawal.” The majority of the questions I get are about anxiety.  My anxiety was how I really […]

  12. Anne says:

    Hi,
    I have been taking Yasmin for 14 years and then Yaz for 3 years. I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and notice that there might be a link. So I have been Yaz free for 7 days. So far so good! Though considering I have been on the pill for 17 years, I am aware that I may go through withdrawal side affects. If it means that the fibromyalgia goes away, I really won’t mind having acne again compared to the pain I have been going through over the past couple of years.

  13. Morgan says:

    Thank you for this. I have been on beyaz for 8 months, at first I felt great, lost 10 pounds, but had major anxiety so I started wellbutrin 4 months later thinking it was unrelated. I stopped getting my birth control because the generic version left me feeling so strange, and now my insurance does not cover it. I feel like I have been hit by a train. Tired, moody, gained 12 pounds in 32 days (i work out lift weights, meal plan eating portioned clean meals) can’t sleep even though I’m exhausted and am having severe abdominal and back pain. I have an appointment March 7. don’t know if i have fibroids, endometriosis or if it is just coming off this pill. After reading more posts than i care to share it seems like its coming off the pill!! its so scary….and wrong…and horrible. I just want to be myself. I’m hopeful and it does seem to get better every day but its so hard.

  14. Sonette says:

    Hi. It’s been two years after your blog post. I am only reading it now. I had the Mirena inserted and I had it taken out December 2016 (after 4 years). I was on Yaz as well as the Mirena caused me to have ovarian cysts. I went of Yaz a month ago. I never felt this sick. I am battling with an upset stomach, no appetite, anxiety and nausea, especially in the morning. I am so worried. I’ve been thinking I should go see a doctor, cause something must be wrong with me. Thank you for your blog. I think I had to read it today. Its all I could think about the last couple of days.

  15. Fawn says:

    Hi Morgan. I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with all of this, but glad to hear that you are getting a little better each day. I hope you are feeling lots better than when you originally posted your comment a couple weeks ago. I agree that it is scary, wrong, and horrible, and it makes me so mad that these drugs continue to be the #1 prescribed line of BC. Please stay positive and know that you are not alone.

  16. Fawn says:

    Thanks for your comment, Sonette. I hope that as you are reading this you are feeling much improved. About a year ago, I wrote another post about my battle and some of the things I did that helped me get through. I thought it might be helpful to you. Here’s the link to that post: http://insteadofthedishes.com/blog/2016/02/08/battling-anxiety/. Hugs and wishes for fast recovery to you!

Leave a Reply

*