While the primary use of birth control pills is to prevent unintended pregnancies, there are additional benefits associated with regular use.
Your OB-GYN may talk to you about the hormonal health benefits of birth control pills, including making periods less painful and more regular, clearing problem skin, and preventing certain cancers. Learn more below about some of the many benefits of birth control pills beyond pregnancy prevention.
Reduce Monthly Cramping and PMS
Many women have abnormal menstrual cycles that can interfere with daily activities, including sporadic or missing periods, heavy and prolonged periods, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms such as severe cramps.
The combination birth control pill contains both estrogen and progestin, which can help regulate when you get your period and the length of your period. Using the pill can also help ease painful cramping and other PMS symptoms like severe mood swings, depression, food cravings, and bloating.
Do you think you have a menstrual cycle problem? Click here to learn more about the types of menstrual cycle problems and how you can get help finding the right treatment.
If a woman experiences heavy periods, she is at risk of iron deficiency anemia. Birth control pills minimize this risk by stopping ovulation and making the uterine lining thinner, resulting in lighter and shorter periods. A lighter period means less blood loss, which helps prevent anemia-related fatigue, low energy, and hair loss.
Are you anemic? Learn how you can add more iron-rich food to your diet here.
Improve Endometriosis Symptoms
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue resembling the endometrium (uterine lining) develops outside the uterus, including on the ovaries, bowel, and bladder. This excess tissue can cause swelling, inflammation, and scarring. Endometriosis is a painful and debilitating condition that causes chronic symptoms such as severe menstrual cramps, pelvic discomfort, painful intercourse, and gastrointestinal issues.
By preventing ovulation, birth control pills can help women with endometriosis reduce uterine buildup, shedding, and the growth and spread of uterine tissue. While it will not cure endometriosis, it can help alleviate the severity of symptoms.
Don’t think hormonal birth control is right for you? Explore our birth control guide to learn more about nonhormonal birth control options.
Improve Skin and Reduce Acne
Birth control pills and other contraceptives can help clear your skin and prevent future breakouts because it reduces the amount of male hormones, like testosterone, made from your ovaries. Lowering testosterone, in turn, reduces androgen levels, which helps balance your hormones and calm any hormonal-related skin inflammation.
Want to learn more about why and how female hormones affect a woman’s health? Click here!
Help With Painful Monthly Migraines
Many things can trigger a migraine, including hormones. A woman may notice she often gets hormonal headaches right before or during her period, which could result from a drop in estrogen levels. Your OB-GYN doctor may prescribe contraceptives to keep your estrogen levels steady throughout your menstrual cycle and help prevent unwanted hormonal headaches.
It is important to discuss your migraine history with your OB-GYN doctor, as certain contraceptives are contraindicated with certain types of migraines.
Can Offer Some Cancer Protection
Taking birth control pills can lower the risk of developing ovarian and endometrial cancer. According to a study in the journal Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, women who have taken birth control pills have a 30% to 50% reduced chance of getting ovarian cancer than women who have never taken the pill. The chance of endometrial cancer is also lowered by about 30%.
The longer a woman is on birth control, the less likely she will develop these cancers, and this reduced risk lasts for years after stopping the pill.
Help with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone, a male hormone that is normally present in women in small amounts.
The excess testosterone found in women with PCOS can lead to higher androgen levels, which can cause irregular periods, acne, hair loss, and unwanted male-pattern hair growth – severely impacting a woman’s mental health and emotional well-being. Hormonal birth control can help regulate periods and prevent these unwanted physical side effects by lowering testosterone.
Lesson Perimenopause Symptoms
A woman's estrogen levels begin to decline during perimenopause. While hormonal birth control is typically associated with women of childbearing age, taking contraception through menopause can make the transition easier, by easing many associated symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and irregular bleeding.
Learn everything you need to know about menopause here!
Talk to Your Moreland OB-GYN About Birth Control Options
Talking to your Moreland OB-GYN provider can help you understand the many great benefits birth control can offer beyond pregnancy prevention. If you’re experiencing menstrual problems,, hormonal birth control can help.
Our team of caring providers is here to listen and answer any questions you have, and we will take the time to work with you to create a treatment plan that best fits your needs. We hope you’ll contact us today to schedule an appointment and turn to our expert team as a trusted resource for information.