Beyaz is Bayer Healthcare Phamaceuticals’ newest birth control pill. In its latest marketing ploy, Bayer enriched its Yaz product. The new pill includes levomefolate calcium, which is designed to increase folate levels in women to help prevent neural tube birth defects. Neural tube birth defects include spina bifida and encephalopathy.

Prevention of birth defects is a good thing. But like Yaz, Beyaz contains ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone. With this troubling combination, Beyaz also carries the same increased risk of blood clots, pulmonary emboli, deep vein thrombosis, gallbladder disease and other potentially life-threatening side effects.

Do women need “fortified Yaz“?  No. Folate, also known as folic acid, is naturally found in green vegetables such as spinach, asparagus and broccoli. Since the early nineties, the FDA has required adding folic acid to grains and cereals. A U.S. woman can meet her daily requirement of folic acid by eating a bowl of breakfast cereal.