Birth control pills are hormonal contraceptives that contain small amounts of estrogen and progestin hormones and whose primary purpose is to prevent pregnancy. The pill is considered to be one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from impregnation.
But can the pill be used for any other purposes? Are there other birth control benefits? The simple answer is definitely yes.
This question and many more can be answered by experts, especially if you research in more depth the services of a gynecologist specialist in Boca Raton & Boynton, FL. When you are looking for excellent service and a safe place to speak about birth control and its possible effects, the Women’s Health Partners Obstetricians & Gynecologists are definitely an option for further exploration.
Effects of Birth Control Pills
There has been numerous research done on birth control benefits, and the findings include various benefits that can aid women in controlling and preventing issues concerning their health apart from pregnancy and contraception.
Below we bring you a list of some conditions which can be treated, prevented, reduced, or regulated by oral contraceptive pills:
- Regulation of the menstrual cycle
- Regulation of irregular periods
- Treatment of menorrhagia (heavy periods)
- Treatment of endometriosis
- Treatment of dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
- Treatment of premenstrual syndrome and dysphoric disorders
- Treatment of acne and alopecia
- Help with ovarian cysts
- Prevention of ovarian and uterine cancer
- Reduced risk of endometrial cancer
- Less chance of myoma development
- Reduced risk of pelvic inflammatory disease
- Reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis
- Preservation of bone mineral density
- Reduced asthma symptoms
- Reduced risk of benign breast disease
There are many different ways in which oral contraceptive pills are beneficial. Still, most of them are connected to the decrease in the amount of menstrual blood during a cycle, frequency of periods, number of ovulations, and the general balance of hormones in the body.
As the majority of benefits concern the women’s menstrual cycle and their overall reproductive health, below, we have elaborated in more depth and detail on the beneficial effects of birth control pills.
Menstrual Cycle 101
To understand how birth control pills work, it is essential to understand what happens in the body during the menstrual cycle. The list below gives you the most critical information about the cycle:
- The period starts when the womb is shedding its lining, and this is controlled by estrogen and progesterone (hormones in the body)
- A menstrual cycle lasts for a month, starting with the growth of the uterine lining.
- It is divided into two halves (pre and post-ovulation)
- In the first half, the hormone estrogen is produced.
- In the second half, progesterone production begins, which stops the growth of the lining.
- If the woman is not impregnated during the first half, the shedding of the uterine lining begins, and the levels of hormones drop, marking the start of the new cycle.
How Do I Take the Pill?
There are two kinds of birth control pills: combination and progestin-only pills. For the regulation of the menstrual cycle, including many different symptoms and signs, combination pills are used.
Usually, you are supposed to take one pill per day, every day, for 21 or 28 consecutive days. There needs to be a break after that period, whereas in week four, you either do not take any pills (21 packs) or take seven days worth of pills which are referred to as “placebo” pills and do not contain any hormones in them (28 packs).
Birth Control for Irregular Periods
Aside from planning a pregnancy, birth control pills are most often used to regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle and to help her deal with irregular periods. Many women struggle with their cycle regarding heavy periods, irregularity, pains, PMS, acne, etc., and using birth control to help become more and more popular among women struggling with these particular issues.
Oral contraceptive pills help make periods occur monthly because infrequent and irregular periods often mean insufficient production of progesterone in the body. The role of progesterone is to prevent the uterine lining from overgrowth, which causes heavy period bleeding and can be a cause of cancer. Progesterone medication in the birth control pill aids in regulating this whole process.
Using Birth Control to Regulate Periods
When we think about other ways to use birth control to regulate periods, women often use it to postpone them. Instead of going through the menstrual cycle every month, they take pills to have only four cycles in a year or even only one.
Another significant usage of oral contraceptive pills is in helping women with menorrhagia (heavy periods) and dysmenorrhea (painful periods). The progesterone-like hormone in the pills makes the lining of the uterus thinner and the bleeding lighter.
On the other hand, when it comes to pain, the chemical prostaglandin is produced in the uterus, and it causes immense amounts of pain for some women. Birth control prevents the ovulation process and, in that way, reduces the production of the chemical which is responsible for cramps and pains during the cycle.
The prevention or stopping of ovulation is also something that aids with premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Birth Control for Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a state in which the tissue resembling the lining of the uterus grows in other places, such as the fallopian tubes or the ovaries. This condition may cause a tremendous amount of pain and discomfort for women, and as already mentioned, the progesterone hormones in the birth control pills limit the growth of the uterine lining tissue. In this way, birth control significantly decreases the pain connected to endometriosis.
It is crucial to mention that when you use birth control for endometriosis, it can help elevate the symptoms such as pain and discomfort, but it is not guaranteed that it will stop the progression of the condition. Poor life habits such as impaired sleep, caffeine, alcohol, red meat, and stress can worsen the state of the disease, regardless of the birth control usage.
Women can use birth control for conditions such as anemia, asthma, bone mineral density, acne, and hair loss, as well as for preventing different cancers such as ovarian, uterine, or endometrial cancer.
Side Effects of Birth Control Pills
Although they are highly beneficial for many different health issues that might occur, there are some potential side effects you may encounter when using birth control pills.
- Mood changes
- Swollen breasts
- Spotting between periods
- Breast pain
- Lower stomach pains
These side effects are not overly problematic when they occur, so they are considered light issues that will pass in a few days.
If some of the following side effects occur, it is of the utmost importance to contact your chosen medical provider as soon as possible:
- Abdominal pains
- Chest pains
- Severe headaches
- Blurred vision and other eye problems
- Swelling and pain in legs and thighs
All the above-mentioned symptoms can signal diseases and issues with the liver, heart, blood clots, etc.
It would be a true shame not to use the full potential of birth control just because you did not have enough information on birth control benefits. Contact our experienced staff and find out more about all the different usages of oral contraceptive pills.