HomeHealthCareWhat Else Is the Birth Control Pills Used For? 11 Non-Birth Control...

What Else Is the Birth Control Pills Used For? 11 Non-Birth Control Benefits

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Your answer to the question, if asked, “What are birth control pills used for?” is probably to avoid pregnancy. Although that is its primary function, you can still use the pills for other purposes besides contraception.

Oral contraceptives are hormone-containing pills that are taken orally once a day. Progesterone is a component of all oral contraceptives, and some so-called combination tablets also contain estrogen. However, they all aim to inhibit or lessen ovulation.

However, the pill can also treat hormonal abnormalities. According to Raj Vito Shah, MD, an ob-gyn at The South Bend Clinic,“We call them birth control pills, but a lot of the time we use them as hormone pills.” The pituitary gland, thyroid, adrenals, and ovaries all regulate a woman’s hormones, and if any of them are not working properly, an imbalance may result. According to Dr. Vito Shah, “These hormonal tablets can interfere with a woman’s physiology, so you get a predetermined quantity of estrogen and progesterone every day and throughout the month, which can help balance the hormones.”

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While there are a few risks associated with oral contraceptives in general, Dr. Sloan Shah advises speaking with your doctor before starting the pill if you suffer from migraines, high blood pressure, a history of blood clotting, or you smoke. “The majority of people should have some kind of medical evaluation once a year to assess usage, whether it’s with an ob-gyn, nurse practitioner, or midwife, especially if there are side effects or things associated with using the pills that aren’t what you expect.”

What more can the pill actually do, then? OB-GYNs advise you to think about oral contraceptives in the following circumstances:

Benefits of birth control pills other than preventing pregnancy

#1. It helps in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Over 90% of women experience PMS symptoms, which can include fatigue, mood changes, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness, typically a week or two before their period. According to Dr. Raj Vito Shah, they are often brought on by a change in hormone levels. It’s not that a woman has high or low levels of those hormones, he claims; rather, it’s a change or decrease in hormone levels. “The most severe kinds of PMS symptoms are caused by the transition from the first to the second half of the cycle.”

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#2. It can make endometriosis less painful

The same tissue that typically forms inside the uterus and sheds after your period also develops on the ovaries, intestines, and bladder in people with this painful illness. Extreme pain is brought on by the swelling, inflammation, and scarring that this extra tissue produces.

According to Dr. Shah, the pill can help lessen the hormone fluctuation that results in PMS since it provides a consistent dose of estrogen and progesterone throughout the course of the month.

According to Alyssa Dweck, MD, an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York Medical College, the pill will lessen the severity of monthly menstrual symptoms. As a result, there will be less monthly uterine buildup, shedding, and, for those who have endometriosis, even less uterine migration and growth.

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#3. It has the ability to save your blood

The amount of red that each woman experiences varies from month to month. However, if your flow is exceptionally heavy, it may increase your risk of anemia, which will cause exhaustion and a lack of energy. Your monthly tides can be lowered with the use of the tablet. According to Dr. Dweck, the pill essentially thins out the uterine lining, and less lining equals less monthly bleeding.

So, will the pill completely halt periods? Maybe. Some brands offer seven days of inactive or placebo pills in addition to the 21 days of hormones that are active. You get menstrual-like bleeding after taking the inactive pills. According to Dr. Sloan Shah, it isn’t precisely the same amount of bleeding or shedding as a typical period because the uterine lining is thinner.

Some women choose to take active pills for three, ten, or twelve months without a placebo, which prevents periods for that duration. If your menstruation does stop while you’re taking the pill, it will come back once you start taking the placebo, which is inactive. Additionally, according to Dr. Shah, if you completely stop taking hormone supplements, your period will return in two to three months.  But not everyone responds to the pill the same way and some may continue to have their periods.

#4. You could spend less on a foundation (and waxing)

Contraceptives can frequently clear up pimples. The few stray hairs on your chin grow the same way. These two annoyances are frequently brought on by the body having too many androgens, a class of hormones that includes testosterone. According to Dr. Dweck, when you take birth control tablets, your liver produces a protein that prevents testosterone from floating around in your bloodstream, which reduces acne and unwelcome hair growth.

#5. It may offer some protection against cancer

According to a study published in Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology, taking pills for 15 years can reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer by 50% and endometrial cancer by 70%.

According to Dr. Dweck, limiting ovulation protects against ovarian cancer. The risk of ovarian cancer is expected to increase with repeated ovulation over a long period of time, but the pill lowers that risk, she explains. Similar principles apply to uterine cancer prevention. Because the pill thins out the uterine lining, there is less chance of tissue buildup, which lowers the risk of the disease. However, be aware that, owing to higher doses of estrogen, oral contraceptives may raise your chance of getting breast and cervical cancer.

#6. It can protect against inflammatory pelvic illness (PID)

A sexually transmitted infection of the female reproductive system is called pelvic inflammatory disease. If left untreated, it may result in infertility or persistent pelvic pain. The birth control pill can still provide protection by thickening your cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for infected bacteria to reach your uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries, even though it does not offer protection against the STDs that may cause PID.

#7. It can aid in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Each cycle, a woman releases at least one egg normally, but if she has the polycystic ovarian syndrome, her body keeps the mature eggs in the ovaries rather than releasing them, which can result in infertility. Extra body hair and irregular menstruation are some other PCOS symptoms. Contraceptives can assist in regulating your levels because hormonal imbalances are the cause of this problem, allowing your body to release eggs on schedule and maintain a regular monthly cycle.

#8. It can help you relax during perimenopause

Normally, birth control is only used by women who are ready to have children, but using the pill throughout menopause helps ease the transition. It regulates some menopause symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, and irregular bleeding, according to Dr. Dweck, and it keeps your hormone levels in check.

#9. It reduces migraines

A type of headache, also known as a migraine, is associated with the menstrual cycle, commonly begins before or during the period, and occurs once a month for many women. According to Dr. Raj Vito Shah, these headaches are caused by a reduction in estrogen before the cycle, which subsequently triggers a migraine. Using a hormonal birth control pill can aid in maintaining constant estrogen levels throughout the menstrual cycle, thereby avoiding migraines.

#10. It can help with painful periods

The medical word for uncomfortable menstrual cramps that happen before or during your period is dysmenorrhea. They are brought on by substances called prostaglandins that are secreted from the uterine lining. Your uterus contracts during your period to help shed its lining, and increased prostaglandin levels are linked to more painful cramps. Prostaglandins cannot be eliminated, although the pill’s ability to thin the uterine lining can help to minimize their release.

Additionally, the uterus retains more blood the heavier or longer the menstruation is. After that, the uterus contracts to expel the blood. “The more painful contractions there are, the more blood there is.”

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