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The Non-Contraception Benefits of Birth Control Pills

When we think of "the Pill", many of us think of one medicine, designed simply to prevent pregnancy.  But the Pill has undergone many changes in the past 40 years:  it is now available in much lower doses, and these are considered safe for use by non-smoking women in their 40's.  Their are now  progestin only birth control pills for nursing mothers and emergency contraceptive pills for women who need protection after the fact. 

The best news about "the pill" is that it does far more than prevent pregnancy.

Birth control pills can:
  • regulate heavy or irregular menstrual periods
  • treat ovarian cysts
  • decrease menstrual cramps or PMS
  • increase appetite in underweight women and reduce acne
The most exciting benefits to taking the Pill are long-term.  Most importantly, these include decreasing the risk of ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancer.

As with most medicines, 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.  The pill also has many potential side effects and most are increased in smokers.
While birth control pills have many benefits, there's one thing it can't do:  it can't work properly if you don't take it properly.

For more information, click here.

Created: 9/25/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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