SCARY

Is Your Birth Control Safe?

Yaz, the top-selling birth control pill in the country, is marketed as a quality-of-life treatment that will reduce acne and premenstrual depression, but researchers are raising concerns that Bayer is downplaying the contraceptive’s serious side effects. Bayer, the drug’s parent company, is fielding over 70 lawsuits that say Yaz puts women at a higher risk for blood clots, strokes, and other health problems than older birth-control pills, The New York Times reports. The FDA asked Bayer to correct misleading TV ads that exaggerated the pills’ efficacy in combating premenstrual syndrome, and to correct sub-par manufacturing practices in a German plant where they make hormones. Bayer sponsored a study that showed its pills do not put women at a higher risk for cardiovascular problems, but other studies have disputed that finding.