Posted: September 15, 2015 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY

7 Benefits of Hormonal Birth Control

The birth control pill is most commonly used for pregnancy prevention (hence the name) but there are many other benefits of the pill that are somewhat less obvious.

It’s estimated that nearly 16% of all women in the U.S. are on the pill, 10.4% are using IUDs, implants or vaginal rings (source). It’s easy to see that birth control is important to many American women, but what many don’t know is that there are other great benefits in addition to pregnancy prevention!

Here are 7 benefits of hormonal birth control:

  1.  Reduced Risk of Ovarian Cancer
    One of the most commonly noted birth control pill benefits is the reduced risk of ovarian cancer. In fact, women who take the pill between one to five years will cut the chance of developing ovarian cancer by 40%! Additionally, those who take it for 12 years will reduce the risk by 70%.
  2. Cramp Relief
    Those of us who suffer from unbearable menstrual cramps can find relief in the form of hormonal birth control. Get off the couch and say goodbye to your heating pad each month! When you are on the pill, the amount of prostaglandins (chemicals which result in muscle contractions) are reduced and as a result, you will notice an improvement in menstrual cramping.
  3. Treatment for Endometriosis 
    For women suffering the pain and discomfort of endometriosis, hormonal birth control can be used to help treat the condition. Essentially, endometriosis occurs when the uterine lining cells grow outside of the uterus and on to other organs. These cells are also shed each month, resulting in pain and also a reduction in fertility.
  4. Lower Risk of Anaemia 
    Women who have long, heavy periods tend to develop anaemia more frequently than their peers with lighter periods. It makes sense that those on hormonal birth control are at a reduced risk since periods on the pill are most commonly much lighter in blood flow and shorter when compared to periods off of the pill.
  5. Acne Treatment 
    Many teenagers take advantage of this great benefit – birth control pills help regulate the hormones which results in less acne. The key to this is that oestrogen regulates the hormonal patterns which reduce breakouts caused by hormone fluctuations.
  6. Treatment for Uterine Fibroids
    While the idea of a tumor often causes alarm, uterine fibroids are benign, meaning they are not linked to cancer. The issue with fibroids is that they can led to uncomfortable and heavy bleeding as well as pain. The hormones in the pill help keep the tumors from growing and this in turn can help manage the side effects.
  7. Protection Against Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
    If Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is left untreated, your fertility can be impacted. Basically it’s a infection of the upper reproductive tract, that can be contracted during unprotected sex. Research has shown that when women take the pill, cervical mucus thickens which can make it more difficult for the microbes that cause PID to enter the cervix.  Of course, to fully protect against any STDs, a barrier method (condom) should be used every time.