When it comes to pregnancy prevention, birth control options like the pill and IUDs have long been reliable options. But there are a bunch of other reasons to love these prescriptions. They can do a whole lot more than provide reliable contraception.
Whether you take the pill or have an IUD, birth control can offer other benefits to your body and mind. Here are some other great reasons everyone can be thankful for birth control.
1. It Regulates The Menstrual Cycle
An irregular menstrual cycle can be a real inconvenience. A period starting at an unexpected moment can easily ruin your day. This is why many people who menstruate turn to birth control to regulate their cycles.
Birth control can take the surprise out of our monthly bleed. If that sounds good to you, you should talk to your doctor about cycle irregularities. They may recommend a specific type of birth control to make your cycle predictable.
The pill can be a great solution for this. You’ll know that your bleed will start when you’re taking the placebo pills.
2. It Eases Heavy Periods
Your period doesn’t need to interrupt your life. If cramps and heavy bleeding send you to bed for a day, you should talk to your doc.
Various types of birth control can ease heavy periods in multiple ways. For example, most combination birth control pills completely stop ovulation and it’s possible to take continuously, meaning that you could skip your period entirely.
Are you just looking for a lighter flow? Taking the placebo pills can trigger bleeding, but it’s different from bleeding you would experience than if you weren’t taking contraceptives.
Other forms of birth control, like the IUD, thin your endometrial lining. This may stop your period completely. Once you get the device removed, your cycle will resume normally.
3. It Curbs PMS Symptoms
For many, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) involves more than chocolate cravings. Some menstruators experience mood swings, fatigue, headaches, acne, insomnia, and more. These symptoms can often be severe, interrupting your life for a week or more.
People with severe PMS might actually have PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. People with PMDD experience depression and anxiety symptoms in the days leading up to their period. The symptoms are more severe than those of PMS.
Fortunately, the challenges of PMS and PMDD don’t have to be a part of your reality. If you start taking birth control, your PMS might become less severe, or even non-existent.
Make sure to talk to your doctor about your symptoms. They might want to look into other behavioral or physical causes as well.
4. It Controls Acne
Hormonal acne is often the culprit behind classic teenage zits. But if you’re experiencing these breakouts as an adult, your doctor may recommend birth control. The prescription works by easing hormonal fluctuations, which reduces your acne.
If your complaint at your provider’s office is acne, your doctor may prescribe a pill that contains estrogen and progesterone. The combination of these two hormones are typically the perfect acne-fighting combo.
Of course, this isn’t the only option. Many adult acne sufferers also benefit from topical products and lifestyle changes. However, a topical product can’t regulate your period.
5. It Treats Endometriosis
Anyone with endometriosis knows how debilitating the condition can be. Affecting 6 to 10% of women of reproductive age, endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus. The condition can cause extremely painful periods, pelvic pain, and heavy periods. Many people also experience pain during intercourse and while using the bathroom.
Fortunately, birth control can help treat the symptoms of endometriosis. Birth control can stop the production of estrogen, or at least lower estrogen levels. This prevents the growth of endometrial tissue.
The best birth control for you will depend on your age and symptoms. However, doctors often prescribe progesterone-only or combined hormonal contraceptives.
6. It Manages PCOS Symptoms
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) results from a hormonal imbalance, and elevates testosterone levels in the body. This condition can cause difficult symptoms like irregular periods, acne, and facial hair growth. Some people will even experience long-term complications like Type 2 diabetes and infertility.
If you have PCOS, you’re likely looking for some relief. Thankfully, part of the solution might be as easy as taking a pill.
Many doctors prescribe birth control to balance hormones and help keep these symptoms under control. Your birth control might be part of a larger treatment plan that includes other prescriptions and lifestyle changes.
7. It Treats Anemia
A severe period can be more than just an annoyance. If you experience heavy bleeding during your period, you might also experience anemia. Low iron can leave you feeling tired, lightheaded, and cold, even if you’re taking care of yourself otherwise.
If your doctor diagnoses you with anemia, they might recommend birth control as part of your treatment course. You’ll lose less blood during your period, which will help prevent anemia. Plus, you’ll enjoy all the other perks of lighter menstruation.
8. It Reduces Cancer Risk
You might think that this is way too good to be true. But studies show that birth control pills may reduce your risk of developing certain cancers. Specifically, the prescription can lower the risk of ovarian cancer by 30 to 50 percent. And what happens to those numbers if you stop taking the pill? You can still enjoy this lower risk for the next 30 years.
Research has also found that the pill lowers your risk of developing endometrial cancer by at least 30 percent. This percentage even goes up the longer you take the pill.
Some people have been concerned about the long term effects of birth control. Be sure to discuss those worries with your doctor. If they assuage your concern, and birth control sounds like a good option for you, go for it. A lower risk of cancer is an excellent added benefit.
9. It Can Give You Peace of Mind
It’s true, birth control has plenty of physical perks. But for many, pregnancy prevention can also support good mental health.
Pregnancy can be wonderful when it’s expected. But the unexpected can throw a wrench in your plans. Not having to worry about pregnancy provides a little extra peace of mind each month. This is especially true if you’re committed to a child-free lifestyle. Or if you already have all the little ones you want.
When you’re not worrying about pregnancy, you can also find more fulfillment in your intimate life. Extra stress certainly doesn’t help in the bedroom. You and your partner can connect on a deeper level when you’re worry-free.
Remember that you can talk to your doctor about getting birth control for any number of reasons. You don’t have to wait to ask for it until you’re looking for pregnancy prevention. Whether you want to manage your PCOS or have a lighter period, you should always seek the care you need. It’s your body, and your birth control prescription should work for you.