Hormonal birth control is one of the most effective and convenient methods available for women who want to prevent unwanted pregnancy. The pill is the most common and popular form of hormonal birth control, but there are a few other contraceptive options that use hormones for pregnancy prevention as well, including certain IUDs, implants, and the patch.
For many women though, the appeal of hormonal birth control goes beyond contraception. This type of birth control offers a wide range of other health benefits that can make your life easier. As you’re figuring out which contraception methods will work best for you, consider these additional advantages to a hormonal option!
1) Regulate your period.
One of the top reasons women seek out hormonal birth control, aside from pregnancy prevention, is its ability to help regulate your menstrual cycle. This type of contraception helps balance the hormonal fluctuations you experience during your cycle, making your period more consistent and predictable.
When you take the birth control pill, you’ll also have more control over when you get your period. You choose when you take active hormone pills vs. the placebo pills, enabling you to decide when and how often you menstruate.
2) Treat heavy and painful periods.
Hormonal birth control works by preventing ovulation and regulating hormone production. Menstrual pain and cramping happen when your uterus contracts, which is caused by a high production of the hormone prostaglandin.
The pill and other hormonal contraceptives reduce your body’s production of prostaglandin, which in turn reduces period pain. And because they also stop ovulation, your uterine lining doesn’t thicken as much, resulting in a lighter flow.
3) Lower your risk of cancer.
Multiple studies have shown that women who use the birth control pill have a reduced long-term risk for uterine, ovarian, and endometrial cancer. In fact, women on the pill are 40% less likely to develop ovarian cancer, and 34% less likely to develop uterine cancer.
The protective effects of the pill continue to lower your risk for cancer even after you’ve stopped taking it. The longer you use it, the more protection it provides.
4) Help manage endometriosis.
Endometriosis is the growth of the uterine tissue lining (endometrium) outside of the uterus. Symptoms of endometriosis can be very painful and debilitating for women. The hormones in birth control help slow the growth of the endometrium, which eases these painful symptoms.
The pill also facilitates lighter periods and gives women the ability to skip them altogether, which is helpful for managing endometriosis as well.
5) Treat symptoms of PMS and PMDD.
Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysmorphic disorder both cause physical and emotional symptoms associated with the onset of your period that can be disruptive to everyday life. PMDD is a more severe version of PMS. These symptoms often include:
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings
Hormonal birth control can help by reducing the hormone fluctuations that cause these symptoms and making the symptoms themselves less severe.
6) Reduce acne and abnormal hair growth.
The production of male hormones, called androgens, in women can cause acne, hair loss, and unwanted hair growth. Hormonal birth control lowers your androgen production levels and helps treat these symptoms.
By treating hormonal fluctuations, birth control reduces abnormal hair growth and can lower the frequency and severity of your breakouts.
7) Relieve migraines.
Many women experience menstrual migraines, triggered by hormonal changes associated with your cycle. Experts believe these are a result of the drop in estrogen production that precedes your period. Hormonal birth control allows you to skip this part of your cycle and keep your estrogen levels consistent.
If you’re interested in learning more about your options when it comes to hormonal and other types of birth control, reach out to the medical team at South Avenue Women’s Services. We welcome women of all ages looking for contraceptives for many different reasons.
Give our Rochester office a call today at 585-271-3850 so we can help you decide which birth control method is right for you!