Did you know that birth control does more than prevent pregnancy? Birth control pills, rings, and patches can help prevent or lessen the symptoms of other gynecological health issues, from ovarian cysts to endometriosis and more.
Combination birth control (containing both estrogen and progestin) is a go-to treatment for this painful condition. Medical providers often recommend that people with endometriosis use birth control to skip periods, which both prevents many of the painful symptoms and can potentially slow or stop endometriosis from progressing.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
People with PCOS usually experience irregular periods and signs of too much testosterone, such as acne and facial hair growth. Hormonal birth control is often prescribed to help bring hormones into balance and make periods regular, though usually other medications are required in addition to birth control treat PCOS — learn more here.
By preventing ovulation, birth control may reduce the risk of ovarian cysts. Birth control pills also reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by 50% when you take them for five years or more.
Birth control doesn’t reliably help prevent or reduce the symptoms of fibroids — in some cases birth control may lighten the heavy periods associated with fibroids, but in other cases the fibroids grow bigger when exposed to birth control hormones and symptoms sometimes worsen. (Learn more here.)
If your periods are long, heavy or otherwise unreasonably bad — bringing cramps, crazy mood swings, menstrual acne, migraines or other sorts of suffering — hormonal birth control is one of the best treatments out there. You should always confirm with a medical provider that your menstrual misery isn’t caused by a bigger health condition, but once you’ve ruled that out then finding the right birth control method is a good plan for getting relief. Combination birth control usually makes periods shorter and lighter, and you can use most forms of combination birth control to skip periods entirely. Progestin-only birth control, like the minipill, birth control shot and hormonal IUD, do not let you skip periods but usually lead your periods to get lighter and maybe even go away entirely (until you stop that form of birth control).
Wondering if birth control can help with some gyno issue you experience? A Nurx medical provider can help find the right contraception for your body.
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