Yaz and effectiveness of action

Patient

Q: Hi, I was just wondering how long Yaz takes to work. Typically I know it says if you take it within the first few days of menstrual cycle youre covered. But my question is, if I have had EXTREMELY irregular periods for almost a year now. Does that still apply to me? I have taken 24 pills now and have had unprotected sex. I am getting the symptoms of pregnancy. I also had a severe pain by my right ovary last night and woke up to dark almost black discharge.

Doctor

A:   Typically Yaz and all the other oral contraceptive pills are extremely effective in providing protection if the pill is started within the first 5 days of menstruation. In case it is not started during this time period and earlier or later, then the effectiveness only comes into action after 7 consecutive days of taking the pill.Thus if this is the case one may need back up method of protection till you have taken the pill for 7 days. That would still apply to you providing you have been compliant in taking the pill everyday and have not missed some pills.However since you are stating that you have had extremly irregular periods I would suggest to use other methods of contraception initially till your periods are regularised.It is also important to remember that OCP dont provide 100 % contraception and have a failure rate of 1%.
Moreover one of the advantages of the OCP's are that they help regularize cycles. However you may experience side effects due to the progesterone component of the pill which include breast tenderness ,headaches, mood changes which may mimic pregnancy signs. Since you are however getting pain and discharge I would highly recommend you to take a home pregnancy test and consult you family physician regarding the same.

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