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HEALTH

Benefits of Birth Control Beyond Pregnancy Prevention

Hormonal contraceptives are a lifesaver for sexually active women trying to prevent unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. Because no one birth control method fits everyone, you want to consult Nathalie Gutierrez-Prieto OBGYN to establish the right form of contraception for you. During the consultation, your doctor may discuss the benefits of hormonal birth control methods besides preventing pregnancy. They include:

Regulates menstrual cycle

Using hormonal birth control methods can help balance the hormonal fluctuations throughout your cycle. The hormones in the pills also help with menstrual issues such as irregular or heavy bleeding. Many people like the combined pill because it makes their period regular and easy to predict. Birth control methods work differently, but most can make your periods lighter and more consistent in timing.

Reduce or banish hormonal acne

Many women develop acne due to hormonal fluctuations. That explains why acne is usually at its worst during puberty or adolescence. However, hormonal birth control methods minimize these fluctuations and help tame hormonal acne. The combined pill containing estrogen and progesterone is the most effective in fighting hormonal acne.

Relieves premenstrual syndrome

Many women experience a mix of physical and emotional symptoms a few weeks or days before their period, known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It is a menstrual issue caused by hormonal fluctuations.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a type of severe PMS that tends to involve more physical and emotional symptoms. It is hard to treat this disorder, but a combination pill containing drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol can treat PMDD. Remember that specialists have yet to uncover the underlying causes of PMS and PMDD fully. Additionally, the doses and hormone combinations vary for different birth control methods. It is a matter of trial before finding a method that works for your symptoms.

Help manage endometriosis

Endometriosis is a painful disorder that occurs when the endometrium grows in places other than the uterus. Like the tissue lining your uterus, the endometrial-like tissue bleeds during your period regardless of its location. However, the bleeding occurs in places where blood can’t exit the body, resulting in pain and inflammation. Fortunately, with birth control methods, you can skip periods and prevent the thickening and shedding of endometrial-like tissues. If you have endometriosis, your provider may recommend continuous birth control pills and IUDs.

It allows you to bleed on your terms.

For many women, menstruating is an inevitable part of life. However, it does not have to be. Most packs of birth control pills have a week of dummy pills containing no hormones. They are there to help you maintain the habit of taking a pill every day. Usually, you will experience withdrawal bleeding during the placebo week.

If you wish to skip your periods due to a vacation or an upcoming event, skip the placebo pills and start a new pack instead. This works best if you take the monophasic birth control pills, where all pills have the same dose of hormones. Other birth control methods, such as patches, vaginal rings, and IUDs, can help you skip periods.

If you need help choosing a contraceptive, book a consultation appointment with your OBGYN at Women’s Healthcare Physicians of Naples.