The combined pill Yasmin contains artificial versions of 2 hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. When taken correctly, it’s 99 % effective in preventing pregnancy and can also help with heavy and painful periods and acne.
Each tablet contains 3 mg drospirenone (progestogen) and 0.030 mg ethinylestradiol (oestrogen). Yasmin comes in strips of 21 pills, each marked with the day of the week to help you remember when to take them. It is manufactured by Bayer AG.
6 x 21 tablet(s) - £45.00
3 x 21 tablet(s) - £26.99
About the Yasmin Contraceptive Pill
Yasmin is a combined pill containing oestrogen and progestogen for helping avoid unwanted pregnancies. It is a 4th generation contraceptive pill. This means the progesterone used in Yasmin was developed more recently than the previous 3 generations of combined pills.
Because Yasmin does not have as much oestrogen as some other combined pills it can be a good choice for people who want an oestrogen-based contraceptive but are worried about side effects. Oestrogen can help improve acne, alongside the anti-androgenic effects of the newer progestogen, and regulate periods for some people, it also comes with a risk of extra side effects, however, that aren’t known for progestogen-only pills.
If you’d like to improve your acne and periods but you’re worried about side effects of too much oestrogen, Yasmin could be a good choice for you.
Remember, like all contraceptive pills Yasmin can only help prevent pregnancies. It can’t help you avoid STIs, so make sure you use extra protection like condoms.
Yasmin is for people who want to use hormonal contraception to avoid pregnancies and would like to treat hormone-related health issues at the same time. For example, an investigation published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine showed that symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) improved significantly while taking the active ingredients contained in Yasmin. Acne or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can be treated with the contraceptive pill, as well.
A doctor will check if the combined pill Yasmin is a good fit for you so you know you can take it safely and effectively. Please note, at ZAVA we only offer Yasmin as a contraceptive and not as a treatment for PMS or PCOS.
Contraceptive pills like the Yasmin pill work by:
- preventing the release of an egg from your ovaries
- thickening the mucus at the entrance of the womb, making it harder for sperm to reach an egg and fertilise it
- changing the womb’s lining, making it harder for a fertilised egg to attach to it and grow
Yasmin is able to do these things because of the effect the hormones it contains have on your body. It works in the same way as your natural hormones would if you were pregnant. When you’re pregnant your body makes sure you can’t get pregnant again and so Yasmin tricks your body into thinking it’s already pregnant and suppresses ovulation.
Studies, like this clinical trial by P. Rosenbaum et al., have proven the hormone combination in Yasmin to be effective: If taken correctly, contraceptive pills like Yasmin are more than 99 % effective at preventing pregnancy. However, sometimes people forget to take their pill or are sick, so in reality the combined pill is about 92% effective.
Combined pills are more effective at preventing pregnancy than barrier methods like condoms or diaphragms, but they are less effective than the copper coil (IUD), hormonal coil (IUS), contraceptive implants or contraceptive injections. No contraceptive is 100 % effective, though.
In addition to Yasmin’s effectiveness at contraception the combined pill also has positive effects on several hormone-related health issues:
- In cases of polycystic ovary syndrome Yasmin has been proven to reduce hirsutism significantly (growth of hair on the body in a male pattern)
- Yasmin can also be used to treat symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine was able to show that in all cases the pill improved symptoms during the late luteal phase and period. In 76.9 % of cases it also improved symptoms during the rest of the cycle.
- In 2004 BMJ Journals published an observational study that reported a significant improvement in acne scores of patients taking Yasmin.
When does the combined pill Yasmin start to work?
If you have regular periods and start Yasmin on days 1-5 of your period, you will have immediate protection against pregnancy.
If you start on any other day of your cycle, you should use extra contraception (like condoms) for the first 7 days. Then you will be protected from pregnancy.
If you are using other hormonal contraceptives, check with your doctor and read the patient information leaflet that comes with Yasmin to ensure you are protected from pregnancy when you start taking Yasmin.
If you want to buy Yasmin online you can use an online doctor service like ZAVA. There, you can fill out a short medical questionnaire that helps to evaluate if the combined pill is suitable for you. Once our doctors have checked your answers and made sure that taking Yasmin is safe for you, you can get a prescription and/or have the pill sent to you directly.
Can you buy Yasmin over the counter?
No, you cannot buy Yasmin over the counter. You need a prescription from a doctor or nurse before you can order Yasmin online.
Take Yasmin pills by swallowing them whole. Chewing a Yasmin pill is unnecessary, but you can drink water if that helps.
Yasmin pills come in strips of 21, each marked with a day of the week. Steps for taking Yasmin usually are:
- Take the pill marked with the correct day of the week
- Follow the arrows on the strip until you have finished all 21 pills
- Wait for 7 days
- During this time, you should bleed (like a period, but called a withdrawal bleed)
- After 7 days, start the next strip of pills (this should be on the same day you started your 1st pill)
- You are protected from pregnancy during the 7-day break if you have taken all the tablets correctly and start your new strip on the right day
- Do not worry if your period has not finished by the time you start the next strip
If you took your last pill on Saturday, a break of 7 days means you will start your new strip on Sunday.
How to take Yasmin for the first time?
You can start taking Yasmin whenever you want to, but you’ll only be protected right away if you’re on day 1-5 of your period cycle.
If you’re sure you’re not pregnant, you can also start Yasmin on any other day of your menstrual cycle, but you will need to use extra contraception (like condoms) when having sex for the first 7 days.
You can switch your contraceptive pill to take Yasmin. Always speak to a doctor for advice before switching medications, though.
Changing from a combined hormonal contraceptive pill, patch or hormonal vaginal ring:
If you start taking Yasmin the day after the last pill, the last patch, or the last day of using the hormonal ring, you’re protected from pregnancy immediately. If you start after a break from the pill, patch, or ring, you should use extra contraception (like condoms) for 7 days.
Changing from other hormonal contraceptives (mini pill, injection, implant or the copper coil):
You can switch from the progestogen-only pill anytime, but you should use extra contraception (like condoms) for the first 7 days.
If you have been using an implant it is a matter of how long the implant has been in your body: If it has been less than 3 years you can switch to Yasmin without using additional barrier protection, in all other cases you should use additional contraception like condoms for a week.
After using contraceptive injections you can start Yasmin when the next injection would normally be due. No extra protection is needed if the last dose was less than 14 weeks ago.
If you have been using an IUD, start the pill before or on the day it’s removed and use extra contraception (like condoms) for 7 days. It is important to ensure you haven’t had unprotected sex the week before switching to Yasmin.
What you should do if you miss a Yasmin pill depends on whether you’re more or less than 24 hours late.
If you’re less than 24 hours late taking a pill:
Take the missed pill as soon as possible, and then take your next pill at the usual time, even if this means taking 2 pills on the same day. You do not need to use extra protection.
If you’re more than 24 hours late taking a pill:
Have you missed 1 pill of your Yasmin pack, you should take the forgotten pill as soon as you remember it. This rule applies even if you have to take 2 pills in the same day. No extra barrier contraception is needed.
If you have missed 2-7 pills, what you should do next depends on when you missed them in your 21-day cycle:
- Days 1-7: Emergency contraception is required in the first week after your pill free week or your dummy pill week.
- Days 8-14: Take each missed pill as soon as you remember and continue to take them at the usual time; you do not need to use emergency contraception, unless you have already missed a pill in the week before. You should use condoms until you have taken the pills for 7 days.
- Days 15-21: As long as no pills have been missed in the week before, you can either take each missed pill as soon as you remember and go straight to the next strip without a break, or you can stop taking the pills and go straight to your break; you do not need to use extra contraception.
If you miss 8 or more pills you would need emergency contraception and to use condoms for 7 days.
If you have had sex and missed more than 1 Yasmin pill or if you feel insecure about what to do in any way, we recommend talking to your doctor. It might be sensible to take emergency contraception.
If you’re sick or have diarrhoea after taking Yasmin, there may be a risk that your pill has not had time to be absorbed by your body. The pill will be less effective, so it’s like forgetting to take it.
If you’re sick or have had diarrhoea within 3 hours of taking your pill, you should take another tablet from a reserve strip as soon as possible. Take the other pill within the usual window if you can. If it’s already been more than 24 hours since you last took a pill, talk to your doctor about what you should do.
You can stop taking Yasmin whenever you want. If you do not wish to become pregnant, ask your doctor for advice about other reliable birth control methods. If you want to become pregnant, stop taking Yasmin and wait for your menstrual period before trying. You’ll be able to calculate the expected delivery date more easily.
Nearly all medications cause side effects, but not everyone will get them.
The most common Yasmin side effects are:
- breast pain or tenderness
- irregular periods (this is more common in the first 3 months)
- feeling sick (nausea)
- vaginal thrush infections and vaginal discharge
- migraine (if you have migraines while taking Yasmin, you should stop taking it, use condoms during sex and speak to a doctor as soon as possible)
- mood changes
These side effects usually settle down within the first few months. But if they don’t or are severe, speak to your doctor for advice. They can suggest alternatives.
Less common side effects caused by the Yasmin contraceptive pill are:
- being sick
- having diarrhoea
- acne and other skin conditions (although Yasmin can help improve acne in some women)
- water retention (swollen ankles, feet or legs)
- larger breasts
- changes to your sex drive
- changes in your blood pressure
- vaginal infection
- weight change
Rare side effects include:
- hearing problems
- breast leaking
- allergic reaction (hypersensitivity)
- painful, reddish skin nodules or a rash with target-shaped reddening or sores
- blood clots in a vein or artery
Always read the patient information leaflet with your medicine for more information about side effects. If you get any side effects, especially if they’re severe or persistent, or if you’ve noticed a change in your health, speak to a doctor.
For more information, also see our page on side effects and the contraceptive pill.
Yasmin pills have 2 active ingredients: the man-made versions of the female hormones progesterone (drospirenone) and oestrogen (ethinylestradiol). Each tablet contains the same amount of these hormones, 0.03mg ethinylestradiol and 3mg drospirenone.
Lactose is an ingredient in all contraceptive pills in the UK, including Yasmin – which makes them unsuitable for those who are vegan. If you are lactose intolerant you can discuss your symptoms with your GP to see if you are still able to use Yasmin.
While the Yasmin pill is safe and effective for many women, it’s not for everyone. Yasmin may not be right for you if:
- you have had a blood clot or have any increased risk of blood clots
- you have ever had a heart attack or stroke
- you have ever had a migraine with an aura
- you have had liver cancer or your liver function is not normal
- you have severe kidney problems
- you have had or might have breast cancer
- you have unexplained vaginal bleeding
- you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Yasmin
“The decision whether Yasmin is suitable for you is made with your individual health situation and medical history in mind. Only a doctor or a nurse can evaluate this reliably. But don’t worry: If it turns out that contraception with Yasmin is not recommended for you, we won’t leave you stranded. In that case we can advise you on what alternatives might be better”, says Dr Crystal Wyllie, GP with a special focus on reproductive, sexual, and women’s health.
Can I take Yasmin while pregnant or breastfeeding?
No, Yasmin is not meant to be used while pregnant so if you do get pregnant you should stop taking Yasmin with the help of a doctor. There is no serious risk to you or your child if you do take Yasmin while pregnant but it’s still not meant to be used during pregnancy.
Using Yasmin is not advised while breastfeeding a baby under 6 weeks old. After this point, you should speak to a doctor before starting oral contraceptives. They’ll be able to advise which pill is best for you.
You should always speak to a doctor or nurse before starting the combined pill after having your baby. You can start taking Yasmin 21 days after having a baby if you are not breastfeeding, but you should use extra protection (like a condom) during the first 7 days of taking Yasmin.
For more information, see our page on contraception after giving birth.
Choosing the Yasmin pill as your contraceptive method can go hand-in-hand with certain benefits. These include for example:
- high effectiveness: As long as you take Yasmin correctly, it can be up to 99 % effective in preventing an unwanted pregnancy.
- less side effects compared to combined pills with a higher dose of oestrogen: The Yasmin pill contains 0.030 mg ethinylestradiol (oestrogen). That can mean less side effects that are related to oestrogen.
- treatment for other hormone-related issues: Yasmin can be used as a contraceptive pill as well as treatment for acne, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Taking the combined pill with other medications can make it less effective. For example, some (but not all) antibiotics that are known to make this type of contraception less effective are:
If you’re currently taking one of these antibiotics, you may need to use extra contraception, like condoms, as well as take your pill. You should use extra protection for some time after you finish your course of antibiotics. Your doctor will advise you on what to do.
Other medications that may affect the pill are:
- certain HIV and epilepsy medications
- medications called enzyme inducers
- herbal remedies, like St John’s wort
- weight loss medications or laxatives
- ellaOne emergency contraception
Always discuss any medication that you’re taking with a doctor so they can advise if this might affect how well your contraceptive pill works.
There are many different types of contraception that are available if taking Yasmin is not right for you. There are pills with the same ingredients and doses, pills with different ingredients and doses and also other non-pill options.
If the pill isn’t right for you for whatever reason, you could go for an entirely different type of contraception. Options include:
- the coil contraception (intrauterine system)
- barrier methods, like condoms
- the contraceptive patch
- the contraceptive injection
- the contraceptive implant
- the contraceptive diaphragm
Contraceptive pills with the same ingredients as Yasmin
There are a number of contraceptive pills available in the UK that have the same active ingredients and doses as Yasmin, including:
These pills will all work in essentially the same way since they share hormones and doses. The only differences here will be the non-active ingredients used in the pills and the prices.
There is also Eloine which has the same ingredients as Yasmin but a lower dose of oestrogen. This means that the effect on acne and periods is lower but so is the risk of oestrogen-related side effects.
Contraceptive pills with different ingredients or doses
There are a lot of contraceptive pills available in the UK with a range of different ingredients. They fall under 4 main categories based on which oestrogen is used, how much oestrogen is used, which progestogen is used and those that don’t have oestrogen at all.
Pills with different oestrogens can be an alternative if you aren’t responding to the oestrogen in Yasmin the way you’d like. Switching to a pill with a different oestrogen than the ethinylestradiol in Yasmin could improve oestrogen-related side effects or lead to improvements to acne or periods. An example of a pill with a different kind of oestrogen is Norinyl-1 which contains mestranol instead.
Pills with less oestrogen include Eloine which has the same progesterone as Yasmin. They also include pills with different progestogens and the same kind of oestrogen but in different amounts to Yasmin. Yasmin has 30 micrograms of oestrogen but other pills can range from 20-50 micrograms. Lower doses have a low chance of oestrogen-related side effects but less positive oestrogen effects like improvements to acne and periods. This is reversed for higher-oestrogen pills with both side effects and positive effects being more likely.
Pills with different progestogens can help if you are reacting badly to the progesterone used in Yasmin, drospirenone. If you are having side effects you can’t put up with, switching to another pill with a different progesterone might improve things. Other progestogens used in combined pills include:
Pills with no oestrogen, also known as mini pills, get rid of the risk of oestrogen-related side effects completely. They also don’t come with any of the added benefits of oestrogen either.
Whether taking the Yasmin pill is a suitable option for you is something your doctor decides based on a lot of different factors. Nevertheless, it can be interesting to see how other people rate their experience with Yasmin.
Yasmin is rated as a contraceptive pill:
Would you like to find out more about how our patients rate our service? You can have a closer look at ZAVA reviews, here.
Frequently asked questions
Is Lucette the same as Yasmin?
Lucette and Yasmin are different, but similar. They contain the same ingredients in the same amounts so they work the same way.
Is Dretine the same as Yasmin?
Dretine and Yasmin are different, but similar. They contain the same ingredients in the same amounts so they work the same way.
Does Yasmin cause weight gain?
There is no clear evidence that combined pills like Yasmin directly cause weight gain. Contraceptive pills can cause water retention and an increased appetite which can lead to weight gain over time.
Can you get Yasmin on the NHS?
Yes. You can get Yasmin on the NHS if a doctor or nurse prescribes it.
Is Yasmin good for acne?
A medical review from 2018 found that the combination of hormones found in Yasmin pills led to a significant improvement in acne. The hormonal changes introduced by taking the combined pill can reduce your body’s sebum production, an oily substance that causes acne.
Does Yasmin affect my weight?
Many women report that taking the contraceptive pill causes them to gain weight. However, there is no medical evidence to prove that this is the case. How a contraceptive pill affects you depends on your body shape, lifestyle and other health conditions you may have.
Can Yasmin cause anxiety or depression?
Women report that Yasmin can make them anxious or cause low mood, but studies do not confirm a direct link between the combined pill and anxiety or depression. Changing the levels of oestrogen and progesterone in your body could affect your feelings, as hormones impact mental health.
If you think taking Yasmin makes you anxious or depressed, talk to your doctor about changing contraception.
Is Yasmin good for PCOS side effects?
Side effects of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), such as heavy, painful and irregular periods, can be helped by taking a combined pill such as Yasmin. Taking a daily dose of hormones means your body has the hormones it needs for the menstrual cycle to be more regular and less painful.
Does Yasmin stop your periods?
Yasmin does not necessarily stop your periods as you normally have a ‘withdrawal’ bleed during the 7-day break. It is possible to delay the withdrawal bleed by taking a pill packet back to back.
Does Yasmin cause bleeding between periods?
Yasmin does not usually cause bleeding between periods. Some women find that they have bleeding between periods when they first start taking Yasmin, but this usually settles down in 3 months. If you are regularly bleeding between your periods, talk to your doctor.
Does Yasmin give you a low libido?
There is no proven link between taking the combined contraceptive pill and having a lower sex drive, although many women report that this is their experience. If taking Yasmin reduces your libido, talk to your doctor about trying a different contraceptive pill.
Does Yasmin increase your risk of cancer?
For women who take the combined pill, there is a slight increase in the risk of developing breast and cervical cancers. There is a decrease in the risk of developing ovarian and womb cancers.
Be aware of the warning signs and talk to your doctor immediately if you are worried:
- check your breasts regularly for any changes like dimpling, nipple changes or lumps
- look out for unusual vaginal discharge, bleeding, pelvic pain or pain during sex
Keep up to date with routine cervical smear tests.
Does Yasmin increase your risk of blood clots (thrombosis)?
Using a combined contraceptive pill like Yasmin slightly increases your risk of getting a blood clot. However, the risk is still very low overall and you are more likely to develop a blood clot during pregnancy.
If a blood clot develops, it can cause:
- deep vein thrombosis (DVT, a blood clot in your leg)
- pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in your lung)
- heart attack
Your risk of getting a blood clot in a vein is highest in the 1st year of taking a combined contraceptive pill for the first time. When you stop taking Yasmin, your risk of a blood clot returns to normal within a few weeks.
Does Yasmin make your breasts grow?
Some women find that their breasts swell when they start taking Yasmin. Usually, the breasts return to their usual size once the body has become used to the additional hormones. Taking Yasmin does not permanently change the size of your breasts.
Can the contraceptive pill make you infertile?
There’s no evidence to suggest that contraceptive pills like Yasmin can make you infertile (unable to get pregnant). Therefore, if you stop taking Yasmin, you should use extra protection immediately to avoid getting pregnant.
Will stopping taking Yasmin cause any side effects?
Yes. It can take your body some time to adjust to the change in hormone levels when you stop using any pill. You may:
- experience heavier or irregular periods and cramps
- find that any premenstrual syndrome symptoms that improved while on the pill will return
- see changes to hair growth, acne or weight
Dr Crystal Wyllie
Crystal qualified in Medicine at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2010. She then trained as a GP in London hospitals and practices. She has a particular interest in reproductive, sexual and women’s health.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 01 Aug 2023
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FSRH Guideline – Combined Hormonal Contraception The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare [accessed February 2023]