A lot of women around the world, trust birth control pill to avoid unplanned pregnancy. Its efficacy at preventing an unplanned pregnancy has helped them lead a lifestyle of their choice. However, preventing unplanned parenthood is not the only reason more than half of the pill users opt for hormone-based birth control pills.
What are the benefits of birth control pills other than preventing pregnancy?
1. Regulating period cycle
Many women suffer from the uncertainty and frustration of not knowing when their period will start. The hormones such as estrogen and progesterone present in the birth control pill help to balance the hormones in the ovaries and regulate the menstrual cycle. For many who experience heavy periods, the use of birth control pills may also lighten the period. Certain pills allow a longer period cycle, which means that you can stop your period for three months by taking active pills, and when you are ready for the periods, you take the inactive pills. This way, you have can even control your period.
2. Prevent anaemia
Sometimes, a heavy period flow can lead to anaemia. With hormonal birth control pills, you can skip your period and the blood loss or lighten your period, preventing anaemia.
3. Less painful period
During ovulation, the uterus experiences contractions which can be painful. These painful cramps can be avoided by taking birth control pills which prevent ovulation.
4. Reduces acne
Remember your adolescence when the hormonal surge resulted in relentless acne? Hormonal imbalance is a significant trigger for acne. Combination pills are known to be extremely useful in maintaining the hormonal balance, thereby preventing breakouts.
5. Reduced cancer risk
One of the biggest advantages of birth control pills has been indicated by large scale researches, which have shown that women who have taken birth control pills have a 30-50% lower chance of getting ovarian cancer. The positive protection from ovarian cancer can last for as long as 30 years after the woman stops taking the pills. In case of endometrial cancer, the risk is 30% lower in those who have been on the pill.
6. Reduced risk of ovarian cysts
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition amongst women of reproductive age. Developing ovarian cysts during ovulation is common in PCOS. Although not always painful, these cysts can create immense discomfort. Since hormonal birth control pills stop ovulation, they can help prevent this pain. It can also help counter the other symptoms caused due to PCOS such as acne, unwanted hair, regulate the cycle, and lower the excess level of testosterone.
7. Alleviate PMS symptoms
Premenstrual Syndrome is a range of emotional and physical symptoms that arise a week or two before the start of the period. A more severe form of PMS is the Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) which can render the individual incapacitated. The birth control pills can balance the hormones and ease mood swings, bloating, nausea, weight gain and other symptoms. Please note, different pills have a different effect on different people. So, you may need to try a few before you find the one that best helps you deal with these PMS symptoms.
8. Manage endometriosis
In endometriosis, the endometrium, which is the tissue lining the uterus starts growing in places apart from inside the uterus. When this tissue bleeds during your period, it may not have an exit out of your body, thus causing inflammation and pain. Birth control pills give you the option of skipping your period and avoiding this condition.
Discuss these other uses for birth control pills with your doctor and understand how its effects. Weigh the costs and benefits of taking hormonal birth control pills and then decide if these are safe for your use.