What are the benefits of the birth control pills
The Birth Control Pill's Bonus Effects
Taking birth control pills may improve acne along with symptoms related to your period, such as pain and menstrual irregularity.
By Madeline R. Vann, MPH
Medically Reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH
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Although most women don’t take birth control for acne relief alone, better skin could be one of the many benefits of using oral contraceptives. And there are other surprisingly positive birth control effects of the Pill, such as a reduced risk of death from certain cancers and improved period symptoms.
Birth control pills are available as a combination of two hormones — estrogen and progestin — or progestin only. They work by regulating your hormonal cycle for three weeks out of the month. The hormones prevent ovulation and also change the lining of the uterus to prevent pregnancy. For most formulations, your period is actually withdrawal bleeding that occurs during the week when you’re not taking these hormones.
A recent analysis of 39 years of data from over 46,000 women found that those who took birth control pills at any point in their lives were less likely to die early from certain cancers or from heart disease.
Birth Control Pills and Cancer Prevention
The possibility that using birth control pills can prevent certain cancers has been established in multiple studies.
“Birth control pill use for five years reduces the risk of ovarian cancer,” says ob-gyn Concepcion Diaz-Arrastia, MD, director of gynecological oncology and associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine. The benefits may also extend to reducing the risk for uterine cancer.
Birth Control Pills and Acne
Women who have problems with acne may find clearer skin as a result of taking the Pill. Combination oral contraceptives have been shown to ease both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne breakouts. The best results of birth control for acne are likely to come from oral contraceptives that contain estrogen or decrease the effect of a woman’s own low levels of androgens, male hormones that cause acne. Some oral contraceptives have been approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of moderate acne, but results vary — not every woman will get a break from breakouts because of birth control pills. 
Birth Control Pills and Menstruation
Taking oral contraceptives can help women who are struggling with period problems. “Oral contraceptive use may also be beneficial for women with endometriosis or irregular or painful periods,” notes Dr. Diaz-Arrastia. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may find that their periods become regular and that they have fewer ovarian cysts while they are taking birth control pills.
Taking the Pill can make your periods more regular, lighter, shorter, and less painful. For some women, it can also relieve migraines and mood swings associated with your period.
Birth Control Pills and Endometriosis
Women with endometriosis can get relief from the pain and bleeding symptoms with the help of oral contraceptives. A recent study found that at least 2 milligrams of diegonest (a progestin) daily eases symptoms of endometriosis. Other studies have shown that women who take oral contraceptives after surgery for endometriosis are much less likely to see a return of symptoms.
There are positive birth control effects beyond avoiding pregnancy from taking the Pill. Talk to your doctor about these benefits as well as your individual health needs to find out whether oral contraceptives are a good choice for you.
Video: Benefits of the birth control pills | methods of birth control
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