You are likely to get pregnant if you have unprotected sex during the first seven days of your new Yaz birth control pill packet. After that, Yaz is considered effective as a contraceptive. You can also get pregnant if you have unprotected sex soon after stopping Yaz. These facts apply to any other brand of birth control pills, as well.
Yaz and Pregnancy Protection
According to the company's prescribing information, when taken as prescribed, Yaz is effective as protection against pregnancy after taking the first seven days of the 24 pink hormone-containing pills of the 28-day packet. This protection relies on:
- Starting your first pill packet before ovulation has taken place that cycle - either by taking the first pink pill in the packet on the first day of your period or on the Sunday after the first day of your bleeding.
- Taking the pill about the same time every day and not missing any pills. Pregnancy might occur when the pink hormone pills are not taken as recommended.
Based on this, you are safe to start having sex without other pregnancy protection beginning on the eighth day after starting on Yaz. However, for optimum safety, in practice, many doctors recommend waiting until after your first period following completion of your first packet of birth control pills before having unprotected intercourse.
How Yaz Protects You From Getting Pregnant
Yaz contains low doses of the hormones ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone and is 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy with perfect use. The typical user effectiveness rate is 91 percent because of imperfect usage. Together, the two hormones in Yaz prevent you from ovulating and getting pregnant by suppressing your pituitary gland hormones.
The daily routine of taking the pink hormone pills for 24 days keeps you from ovulating. Your period starts each cycle any time during the four days of the white inactive pills. Like any other birth control pill, if you take Yaz irregularly or stop it before the 24th day of the cycle, you might ovulate and increase your chance of getting pregnant.
Stopping Yaz and Planning a Pregnancy
If you stop taking Yaz for whatever reason and don't want to get pregnant, use another method of birth control immediately. If you have unprotected sex soon after that last pill period, you can get pregnant. This is because many women will start to ovulate again soon after stopping a birth control pill - within two weeks according to the Mayo Clinic.
If, instead, you are planning to get pregnant, some physicians will advise you to wait one cycle until after you get a period without a cycle of pills. If you wait to have unprotected sex until after at least one normal post-Yaz period, you will improve the accuracy of dating your pregnancy.
Waiting Three Normal Cycles
Some doctors might recommend waiting up to three normal menstrual cycles and using other birth control such as condoms while you start planning to conceive:
- Waiting longer than one cycle allows you to track your fertility signs to ensure your pituitary gland and ovarian hormones have returned to normal and you are ovulating again.
- A regular period for three months is a sign of return of regular menstrual cycles and ovulation indicates a good time to resume unprotected sex to begin trying to get pregnant.
Ovulation will occur mid-cycle about 12 to 14 days before each next normal period is expected to start.
Irregular Bleeding After Stopping Yaz
Some women have spotting or intermittent bleeding in the first few months after stopping Yaz, or any other birth control pills, until they start ovulating regularly again. This can be confusing and cause questions of an abnormal pregnancy or a miscarriage if there is unprotected intercourse. Talk to your doctor about a pregnancy test and an evaluation if you have irregular bleeding or your period does not return a month or more after stopping Yaz.
Healthy Tips For Pregnancy Planning
Remember to follow these healthy tips when stopping Yaz or other contraceptive to plan a pregnancy:
- Eat healthy meals by choosing a variety of healthy foods.
- Take a folic acid supplement to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in your baby.
- Stop smoking, drugs, and alcohol.
- Exercise to keep in shape for a planned pregnancy.
Risks of Birth Control Pills or Unprotected Sex
There are a few risks to taking birth control pills, including Yaz. Birth control pills can increase the risk for heart disease, blood clots, and stroke. Women at greatest risk are those who smoke, are over the age of 35, have high blood pressure, or have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease - based on the Yaz company's prescribing information cited above in the first section, "Yaz and Pregnancy Protection".
Even while taking Yaz, doctors advise women to consider using condoms for protection against the risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) with unprotected sex. The risk is greater for women who are not in a monogamous relationship, or have partners with a history of STDs or who are IV drug users.
Sexually transmitted diseases include genital herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis. These infections can damage your fallopian tubes and make it difficult to conceive in the future.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about how to start or stop taking Yaz and how it works. This information will help you understand how Yaz and other birth control pills works to prevent pregnancy. You will also be better informed about the risk of pregnancy if you have unprotected too soon after starting or stopping the pill.