Birth control is used as a means to prevent unwanted pregnancies by controlling the ovaries and uterus in the female body. The common side effects of taking contraceptives include nausea, weight gain, sore or swollen breasts, and — in rare cases — a stroke. For 18-year-old Georgie Holland, she was that rare case. The UK beauty queen claims that Yasmin, the oral contraceptive, gave her a stroke that left her partially blind after two years of being on the pill.
Holland reportedly suffered a stroke shortly after she was attending a dance lesson at her college campus.
”It came completely out of nowhere. I was in a dance lesson at school and started to feel a bit funny and had to sit down,” she said, the Daily Mail reports. “I was allowed to leave, but I couldn’t think clearly and wasn’t sure what I was doing. I ended up walking out of the school and down the road."
The British teen’s dad saw his daughter collapse in a bush and decided to take her home for bed rest. Holland’s return home was cut short two days later when she had to be rushed to the hospital after a doctor did a home visit to check on her condition. She was too ill to move and started to slowly lose her vision.
“He was waving his hands in front of my face but I couldn’t see them, that’s when everyone realised that something was terribly wrong,” Holland said.
The beauty queen’s vision wasn’t the only thing deteriorating; Holland began to lose her speech too. She was unable to speak without slurring her words, which was a cause for concern for the teen’s parents and younger brother.
At the hospital, doctors conducted a brain scan to unveil the initial cause of the stroke. A black clot in the middle of Holland’s brain prevented blood from flowing, ultimately leading to the 18-year-old’s stroke. Doctors linked the stroke to Yasmin, the birth control pill that the British teen has been taking for two years.
The incidence of slurred speech and vision changes experienced by Holland are unknown incidences for use of the contraceptive pill Yasmin, according to Drugs.com. It is also commonly known, however, that the pill can cause patients to suffer a stroke in extremely rare cases.
Holland spent a week in the hospital recovering from the stroke that left her with limited peripheral vision in her right eye, reports the Northamptonshire Telegraph. The teen has to take aspirin every day to thin her blood as well.
But the ambitious teen will not let her recent health condition affect her aspirations to compete in more beauty pageants. Holland will compete against girls from all over the UK in a national pageant in Essex on Sept. 15. If the British teen makes it to finals, she will compete at Disneyland Paris.
“I hope the event will help me forget and move on from such a horrifying experience,” said Holland.
“Losing sight in your eye is very scary, especially as it just happened out of the blue. But I’m ready to compete and win the competition."
The Daily Mail reached out to Bayer, Yasmin’s manufacturer, for comment on the adverse effects of the pill.
“We extend our sympathies to women and their families who feel that they have been adversely affected by Yasmin®,” said Bayer in a statement.
“Bayer investigates reports on side effects thoroughly and collaborates closely with medical regulatory authorities concerning the use, benefits and risks of all products, including Yasmin®."
“Based on a thorough assessment of the available scientific data by regulatory authorities, outside independent experts and Bayer scientists, Yasmin® is effective and has a favourable benefit-risk profile when used as directed in the Patient Information Leaflet. Bayer fully stands behind Yasmin®," Bayer said.