The Noncontraceptive Benefits of the Pill
Barbie turned 40 last year, and so did birth control pills. While the pill
started as just a contraceptive, it is now approved for emergency contraception.
There are low dose pills available for use by non-smoking women in their 40's
and progestin only pills for nursing mothers.
"The pill" does far more than prevent pregnancy.
For years physicians have prescribed birth control pills
- to regulate heavy or irregular
- to treat ovarian cysts
- to decrease menstrual cramps
- to increase appetite in underweight
- to reduce acne.
We also know there are many other benefits to taking the pill. These include:
- decreasing the risk of ovarian,
endometrial, and colorectal cancer; and
- decreasing the risk of osteoporosis
The pill is not for everyone. You
may not take birth control pills if you:
- may be pregnant
- have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding,
a history of breast cancer, liver disease, blood clots or stroke.
also has many potential side effects and most are increased in smokers.
In 40 years, the pill has come a long way to benefit women. One thing it can't
do, however: the pill can't work properly for any of these uses if you don't
take it properly.
Click here for more information on the noncontraceptive benefits of the pill.
Created: 2/23/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.