The non-contraceptive benefits and acceptability of Yasmin®

The non-contraceptive benefits and acceptability of Yasmin®

D. Mansour

Consultant in Community Gynaecology and Reproductive Health Care, Head of

Contraception and Sexual Health Services, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Health professionals are aware that women complain of hormonal side-effects

with different oral contraceptives. Progestogens in oral contraceptives differ,

with some improving cycle control and others having anti-androgenic effects on

the skin, leading to improved well-being and higher continuation rates. However,

complaints related to salt and water retention continue. A new oral

contraceptive, Yasmin®, has been developed which contains drospirenone, a

progestogen resembling progesterone. This progestogen is quite unique as it is

derived from 17-spirolactone and has antimineralocorticoid as well as

antiandrogenic properties. The addition of this compound to an oral

contraceptive provides additional non-contraceptive benefits and leads to a

reduction in salt and fluid retention and an improvement in skin conditions such

as acne and seborrhoea.

A non-comparative study of Yasmin® in normal women showed significant

decreases from baseline in negative affect, water retention and increased

appetite. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Yasmin® in women with severe

premenstrual syndrome found a consistently greater reduction of symptoms from

baseline using the Calendar of Premenstrual Experiences. A recent European

6-month study has assessed the effect of Yasmin® on general well-being and

fluid-related symptoms. The results suggest that women who report premenstrual

symptoms before starting Yasmin® have improved scores when their Psychological

General Well-being Index is measured and also have fewer somatic symptoms. A

further study in the USA also found that Yasmin® helped to reduce premenstrual

symptomatology and improved health-related quality of life and general sense of


With these non-contraceptive benefits, do Yasmin users continue to take their

pills longer when compared to other oral contraceptive users? In Newcastle,

Yasmin® was compared to an oral contraceptive containing ethinylestradiol/norgestimate.

At 6 months, discontinuation rates for Yasmin® were significantly lower than for

the comparator. Data were also gathered from 150 UK practices. Subjects were

followed for 12 months and a significantly lower proportion of discontinuation

was found in the Yasmin® cohort compared to the comparator arm. Women taking

Yasmin® were found to continue for significantly longer than those in the

comparator cohort. The higher continuation rates observed with Yasmin® are

attributable to its unique pharmacological profile and corresponding

non-contraceptive benefits.

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