A birth control pill! What does it do? Well, the name does a pretty good job at explaining itself and being just ✨obvious enough✨, it prevents the first stage of pregnancy (not sex , the meeting of an egg and a sperm) so you don’t have to worry about unintended pregnancies!
But is that all it does? Well…nope!
The pill has more than just one function, making it the ultimate multitasking contraceptive! Something interesting and trivial about our bodies is that all of it is interconnected and our health in one aspect, influences our health in another aspect. A birth control pill influences more than just your sexual health.
Let’s circle back to the non-contraceptive benefits of a birth control pill and learn more about its holistic effects!
Disclaimer: Everyone responds to birth control pills differently. These benefits are a general overview based on evidence that has been largely found among people using hormonal contraceptives.
It’s all relative: Periods , Periods cause discomfort for many people, but that’s not a reason for you to suffer in silence!
Here are all the period problems (or period-related) hormonal birth control pills can help you with :
Dysmenorrhea : One of the biggest things that bother people when they are going through menstruation is… CRAMPS! The intensity of a period cramp differs from person to person, but some people report it being painful to an extent that they can’t function and carry out their day-to-day activities. Hormonal Birth control (combination pills) works because it decreases the amount of prostaglandins — chemicals your body produces to make the muscles of the uterus contract. With fewer contractions, there is less pain.
Irregular periods : Irregular periods can be a major cause of stress for many people (ironically stress also delays periods, vicious cycle isn’t it ?). Birth control pills can help regulate periods, giving you autonomy and a less stressful relationship with your body! Birth control pills were originally only packaged as 28 pills — 21 pills containing the hormone(s), and 7 placebo pills (no active ingredients). The placebo period is when menstruation usually occurs.
Today you can use different variations of pills to have an average length of menstruation period (7 days), shorter periods, periods only quarterly or once a year. The pill can also stop ovulation altogether (anovulation), you can learn more about this from your healthcare provider.
No matter which birth control pill you are taking, you may experience irregular spotting or bleeding during the first few months of taking the birth control pill, but this is temporary.
PMS and PMDD : Everyone knows about PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome refers to physical and emotional symptoms that a person may experience before a period. PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a more severe form of PMS which can make things a lot more tricky and difficult. Thankfully research suggests that birth control pills can provide you with some relief during these difficult times! They are prescribed as the first or second order of treatment to treat PMS or PMDD.
Menorrhagia : Excessive menstrual bleeding is another woozy that menstruators have to deal with. No, we’re not joking, it’s an actual woozy because if left untreated it can lead to iron deficiency anaemia, one of the symptoms of which is feeling dizzy/woozy. Contraceptives that reduce overall bleeding episodes (like birth control pills) may be especially helpful in the management of menorrhagia.
Reducing the risks : Cancer, Some clinical studies have shown positive outcomes in terms of reducing risks by up to 50% and offering protective effects when birth control pills are being used for cancers such as Endometrial Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Colorectal Cancer and cysts in your breasts and ovaries. Hormonal and even some non hormonal birth control methods can impact cancer risk. The approaches differ, but both the pill and hormonal IUDs are similar in that each contains synthetic hormones. These hormones might increase the risk of some gynecologic cancers while, at the same time, helping protect against others.
Other Benefits :Wait there’s still more!
Contrary to what you might be thinking menstruation ease and cancer prevention are strong cases for people to opt for birth control pills, but there is more to what these medical marvel pills can do!
Some other common benefits are :
- Endometriosis : Did you know that many people who are suffering from endometriosis are prescribed birth control pills to help them lessen the effects and pain? Endometriosis is when the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus, starts to grow in other parts of one’s body.
- Acne and Hirsutism can be tamed to a certain extent by using birth control pills! Hirsutism is excessive body hair growth that may be unwanted by a certain person.
- For people of their reproductive ages, birth control pills have been shown to be helpful in reducing bone thinning!
- Did you know that birth control pills are prescribed as the first line of medical treatment for PCOS (or lesser known as PCOD)? Hormonal birth control can help manage the symptoms of PCOS since PCOS is a syndrome largely associated with hormones.
Birth control pills can do more than just the obvious function that they are famous for! And if you’re looking for a multitasking contraceptive? You’re in the right place! We at Prev have got you covered ❤