The unexpected benefits of the pill

Good side effects of the pill

The main reason for taking the pill is, of course, to prevent unwanted pregnancy. However, there are other benefits to being on the pill which you might not know about. Some women might even choose the combined pill for these very reasons. 

 

Period control

If you dread your time of the month and experience PMS, painful cramps and heavy bleeding then you might find some relief in taking the pill. The hormones contained in the pill stop you from ovulating and also thin the lining of the womb, resulting in a lighter and less intense period. 

You can also use the pill to delay your period. Most types of the pill require you to take it daily for 3 weeks, before having a 7 days break and then starting a new pack. Instead of doing this, simply start the next pack right away. This means you won’t have a period for another 3 weeks. For some women, this is a huge relief. If you have a sporting event, holiday or a romantic weekend planned, then you don’t have to worry about your period getting in the way. 

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Reduced risk of certain cancers

The combined pill reduces your risk of getting certain types of cancers. These include colon, ovarian and womb cancer. If you come off the pill, this continues on for some time. However, it’s important to realise that there is a link between the pill and breast cancer. The risk is low, but if you have a personal or family history of the illness it’s not advisable to take the pill. 

 

Treatment for acne

The combined pill is sometimes offered as a treatment for acne. This is a skin condition which is typically associated with teenagers but it can persist, or appear, in adulthood and have a significant impact on a person’s confidence and self-esteem. If you suffer from acne, taking the pill can regulate your hormones and help to reduce the appearance of spots and inflammation. 

 

Prevents other ovarian conditions

The pill can also protect you from pelvic inflammatory disease and lower the risk of experiencing fibroids or ovarian cysts. These don’t always cause symptoms and often disappear on their own but can contribute to abdominal pain, pelvic discomfort and heavy menstrual bleeding. 

 

Eases the symptoms of endometriosis 

For women with endometriosis, the pill can provide relief from the symptoms of the condition. Endometrial tissue is the tissue which grows inside the womb lining. In women with endometriosis, this tissue also grows elsewhere in the body, usually in the pelvic region. It causes significant pain during menstruation and can negatively impact your day to day life. Due to the way the pill regulates your menstrual cycle and stops ovulation, it can be effective in treating the pain and discomfort associated with endometriosis. 

 

Sources

NHS> The Combined Pill: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/combined-contraceptive-pill/

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