While pregnancy prevention is the most common reason for using birth control, many women choose to use it for other reasons. In fact, birth control advances have led to hormone levels that are much lower than previous versions. These advances have minimized side effects and help to make the pill useful for treating other issues.
In addition to preventing unplanned pregnancies, birth control can have many benefits. We’ve compiled a list of potential secondary benefits your birth control method may hold.
1. Regulating Menstrual Periods
Birth control can be useful in regulating menstrual cycles for women with irregular periods. The additional progesterone in the birth control product keeps the uterine wall from over-growing. This can remedy issues such as heavy bleeding (menorrhagia) and decrease the chances of abnormal uterine lining growth.
By regulating the body’s hormone levels, birth control produces a lighter and more regulated menstrual cycle. Aside from the associated health benefits, being better able to predict and control their menstrual cycle improves quality of life for many women.
2. Relieves Menstrual Cycle Pain Issues
Menstrual cycle pain(dysmenorrhea) can be a result of excess prostaglandin production. If the body produces elevated levels of this compound, women often experience more intense cramping and pain. Birth control prevents ovulation, which reduces prostaglandin production in the uterus.
Birth control can also relieve menstrual cycle pain due to endometriosis or uterine lining tissue growth beyond the uterine wall. Progesterone in birth control pills can decrease this growth and relieve pain associated with it.
3. Reduces PMS and PMDD Symptoms
Many women who use hormonal birth control report a reduction in the symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). These symptoms include mood swings, bloating, breast tenderness, and period migraines. While not a guarantee, choosing a hormonal birth control method may reduce your PMS and PMDD symptoms.
4. Reduces Acne and Excessive Hair Growth
Excessive hair growth over the lip, on the inner thigh, lower midsection, or below the chin area can be related to excess androgen levels. Similarly, acne can be caused by overproduction of or extreme sensitivity to androgen. Hormones in birth control can reduce the presence of acne and hair growth issues associated with hirsutism by reducing the production of male hormones in the ovaries.
5. Reduces Risks of Certain Cancers
Taking birth control has been shown to reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer by up to 50%, depending on the length of time taken. However, you should discuss your cancer risk with your doctor before beginning a birth control regimen.
If you would like more information on how birth control can be helpful in treating hormone-related health issues, contact your medical team. Professionals in the industry help you decide if birth control is the right option for you.