When discussing the purpose of birth control, it’s commonly associated with preventing pregnancy. While this remains its primary objective, hormonal birth control methods, such as pills, certain IUDs, implants, and patches, extend benefits that go beyond contraception. There are wide range of non-contraceptive uses of birth control pills which we will elaborate on below in the article.
1. It Reduces Period Pain
Approximately 31% of women who use birth control pills do so to alleviate menstrual pain. Hormonal birth control works by inhibiting ovulation, which means your uterus doesn’t undergo the contractions causing ovulation-related cramps. For those with painful periods, hormonal birth control can also offer relief from menstrual pain. This is one of the first non-contraceptive uses of birth control pill.
2. It Keeps Your Periods On Track
Hormonal birth control methods can stabilize hormonal fluctuations in your cycle, addressing menstrual concerns like irregular or heavy bleeding. They can also alleviate symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), such as acne and excess hair. Different birth control methods can make periods lighter and more predictable in timing.
3. It Lowers The Chance of Getting Uterine Cancer
Combination birth control tablets have significant long-term health advantages for women. According to research, women who take these tablets have a 50% lower risk of developing uterine cancer. Even more amazing is the fact that these tablets’ preventive properties last for up to two decades after use. This long-lasting defense against uterine cancer highlights the profound influence of mixed birth control tablets.
Additionally, these tablets are linked to a decreased risk of ovarian cancer. Although the actual mechanism behind this risk decrease is unclear, hormonal control is frequently mentioned. Combination birth control pills have a significant and long-lasting effect on women’s health and well-being, as evidenced by their capacity to offer continued protection against both ovarian and uterine cancer.
4. It Can Eliminate Hormonal Acne
Hormonal imbalances can frequently trigger acne, which is most troublesome during adolescence. Hormonal birth control, by reducing these fluctuations, can effectively manage hormonal acne. Among birth control options, combination pills containing both estrogen and progesterone prove to be the most effective in combatting acne. This is another alternative benefits of birth control pill.
5. It Can Relieve PMS and PMDD Symptoms
Many women encounter a mix of physical and emotional symptoms in the days leading up to their period, a condition known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and often attributed to hormonal fluctuations. Hormonal birth control can also be a remedy for the premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe form of PMS with emotional or psychological symptoms that can be challenging to manage. The FDA has approved a combination pill called Yaz, containing drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, specifically for treating PMDD. It’s essential to note that PMS and PMDD have various underlying causes, and not all birth control methods may work the same way for each individual; thus, exploring different options may be necessary to find what best suits your symptoms.
6. It Decreases The Likelihood of Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts, which are small fluid-filled sacs that develop during ovulation, are usually not harmful but can be painful. In cases of PCOS, many small cysts can be found in the ovaries. Hormonal birth control can prevent the formation of these cysts by inhibiting ovulation. It may also hinder the recurrence of existing cysts.
7. It Eases Menstrual Migraines
Migraines, a severe form of headaches, impact nearly 30 million Americans, with 75 percent being women. Hormonal changes are a key migraine trigger. Menstrual migraines are believed to be associated with decreased estrogen and progesterone just before your period. Hormonal birth control methods that permit menstrual cycle control, like continuous pills, implants, or IUDs, can help mitigate this hormonal drop.
8. It Can Control Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a painful condition occurring when the uterine lining tissue (endometrium) grows outside the uterus, causing bleeding during your period, which leads to pain and inflammation. Hormonal birth control is beneficial as it enables you to skip periods, with continuous birth control pills and IUDs often recommended for managing endometriosis.
9. It Can Lower The Chance of Developing Anemia
The risk of anemia, which is defined by inadequate red blood cells to efficiently carry oxygen throughout the body and causes sensations of weakness and exhaustion, is raised by excessive monthly flow. To avoid the anemia that comes with menstruation, hormonal birth control options that enable menstrual cycle modification, notably period skipping, are a helpful tactic.
The possibility of severe blood loss is reduced by employing these techniques to control and decrease the frequency of periods, which lowers the likelihood of developing anemia. This method not only saves time but also improves general health by preserving healthy iron levels and reducing anemia-related symptoms.
10. It Grants You The Liberty To Choose When You Menstruate
For most menstruating women, bleeding is a regular part of life, but it doesn’t have to be. Many birth control pill packs include a week of placebo pills without hormones, primarily to maintain the habit of daily pill-taking. Typically, your period occurs during this placebo week.
If you have an important event or vacation scheduled during that week, you can bypass the placebos and start a new pack. This approach is most effective with monophasic birth control pills, which have a consistent hormone dose. Additionally, other methods like IUDs, rings, and patches allow you to entirely skip your period.
11. It Helps You Save On Foundation and Waxing Costs
In order to handle typical cosmetic issues like zits and the odd chin hair, contraceptives are quite important. Hormonal imbalances, notably an overabundance of androgens, which include hormones like testosterone in the body, usually cause these problems.
Contraceptives mitigate the androgen-related variables causing these issues by restoring homeostasis by controlling hormone levels. The result is frequently smoother skin and less facial hair, providing persons with these problems with both cosmetic and emotional relief.
In short, there is a wide range of birth control advantages beyond contraception, from menstrual pain alleviation to lowered cancer risk.