Ocella, a new type of birth control pill, has been associated with an increased risk of gallbladder disease and gallstones. Women who suffer from this severe Ocella side effect often must endure extreme pain, debilitation, and they may need an expensive surgery to remove the gallbladder. If you were injured by Ocella gallbladder disease, you are not alone.
Ocella (generic Yasmin) birth control pills are a once-daily hormonal medication that reduces the risk of pregnancy. The regimen consists of “active” pills that each contain a combination of two synthetic hormones — 3-mg drospirenone (synthetic progestin) and 0.03-mg ethinyl estradiol (synthetic estrogen). These hormones reduce the chance of getting pregnant by inhibiting ovulation and making changes to the cervix and uterus.
Ocella Gallbladder Disease
Women have a doubled risk of gallbladder disease compared to men, and experts believe that excessively high levels of hormones are a risk factor for this disease. Women frequently use hormonal birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or have high levels of estrogen following pregnancy.
There are several theories as to how Ocella gallbladder disease occurs. One possibility is that the hormones in Ocella reduce the motility of the gallbladder, which reduces the flow of bile from the gallbladder and increases the risk that a gallstone will become trapped in a duct. Another possibility is that hormones increase the amount of calcified cholesterol that accumulates in the gallbladder, and these particles then form gallstones. It is also possible that the mild but prolonged diuretic effect of hormonal birth control pills causes gallbladder disease.
What is Gallbladder Disease?
Gallbladder disease is a sudden inflammation of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a digestive organ that is connected to the liver, pancreas, and upper intestine. It is located just beneath the ribcage on the right side of the body. When the liver secretes bile the gallbladder stores the bile, concentrates it by removing excess water, and then releases it into the intestines. Bile helps digest fats.
One of the most common causes of gallbladder disease is the formation of gallstones. Gallstones are hard accretions of calcified particulate matter. These “stones” may be the size of a grain of sand, as large as a golfball, and so numerous that they completely fill the gallbladder. Gallstones may get stuck in the bile duct or pancreatic duct. This can cause a gallbladder attack, which is a sudden and severe inflammation of the gallbladder that may last for several minutes or several hours.
Many people who have Ocella gallbladder disease will require surgery (called a cholecystectomy to have their gallbladder removed. This surgery is often very painful and expensive.
Signs & Symptoms of Ocella Gallbladder Disease
The early symptoms of gallbladder disease may be mistaken for indigestion or other digestive problems. Diagnosis of Ocella gallbladder disease may be delayed, because it often affects younger women with no history of the disease or risk factors. Usually, gallbladder disease or gallstones are diagnosed after they start causing severe, prolonged abdominal pain.
Symptoms of Ocella gallbladder disease:
- Pain in the upper abdomen, just below the ribcage on the right side of the body
- Abdominal pain that comes and goes, lasts several minutes, or several hours. The pain might only occur at night
- Abdominal pain following ingestion of a greasy, fatty meal
- Nausea, vomiting
- Gas, bloating
- Burping, belching