The birth control pill is a convenient, safe way to prevent pregnancy, but did you know that it also offers other advantages? Doctors prescribe the pill for a number of reasons beyond pregnancy prevention. Here are some additional benefits you can expect from taking the pill.
- Reduced Acne
Image via Flickr by skeyndor.oficial
Hormonal birth control has been proven to reduce acne and keep breakouts in check. Research clearly shows a link between a woman's menstrual cycle and acne flare-ups, so even if you adhere to an ideal skincare routine, your hormones can still cause breakouts.
Natural hormonal shifts in your body can lead to an increase of androgens, male-centered hormones that can cause excess oil under the skin. The links between acne reduction and certain types of birth control pills are so strong that many brands have petitioned the FDA to be approved as acne treatments. As such, your dermatologist might suggest going on the pill even if you're not sexually active.
- Reduced Cancer Risks
Multiple studies have suggested that taking oral contraceptives lowers the risk of certain types of cancers, specifically endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal cancers.
Women who have taken the pill have at least a 30% reduced risk of developing endometrial cancer, and this protective effect lasts for several years after discontinuing the pill's use.
Oral contraceptives have a similar benefit on warding off ovarian cancer, lowering the risk by 30% to 50%. The longer you take the pill, the greater the protection. Studies suggest that a woman continues to benefit from this reduced risk of ovarian cancer for up to 30 years after stopping the pill.
The downside, however, is that oral contraceptives can slightly increase your risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer, but both these risks decline after a woman stops taking the pill.
- Regulated Periods
One of the biggest benefits of taking the pill is that you can enjoy regular periods. In fact, many teen and adult women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are treated with an oral contraceptive to regulate their periods and reduce other hormonal symptoms like acne and oily skin.
The pill is frequently prescribed to younger girls whose periods are irregular or late, even if there's no sign of PCOS. Birth control pills can even reduce the length and amount of menstrual bleeding for those suffering from excessive, abnormally frequent periods.
- Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis
Women who take the pill during their reproductive years experience less bone thinning as they age. Many oral contraceptives contain estrogen, which is essential for warding off osteoporosis. Taking the pill now could help you enjoy a reduced risk of fractures and bone breaks after menopause. If osteoporosis runs in your family, talk to your doctor about the benefits of an estrogen-containing birth control pill.
With so many benefits the pill offers, maybe it's time to talk to your doctor or an online provider to discuss your options. Telemedicine companies like Nurx provide the pill with or without insurance. You simply speak with an online provider who prescribes your birth control and then delivers it straight to your door. You can even enjoy automatic renewals and refills so you never run out. It's never been easier to take advantage of the pill's numerous benefits.