Low-dose hormonal birth control pills, including Seasonique and Yasmin, ease the heavy bleeding and cramping associated with fibroids without making the fibroids grow. This makes them good options for most women with fibroids wanting to prevent pregnancy.
How Hormonal Birth Control Helps Fibroids
Fibroids often make periods much heavier. Hormonal birth control options stop periods, replacing them with a withdrawal bleed instead. These withdrawal bleeds are usually much lighter. Some options stop monthly bleeding altogether. The estrogen in hormonal birth control also makes the blood clot, which makes the overall flow seem a lot less.
Periods usually bring serious cramps for women with fibroids. Hormonal birth control can reduce this nasty side effect by reducing levels of prostaglandin, the chemical which causes uterine contractions.
Why Regular Hormonal Birth Control Aren’t the Best Choice
It makes sense that if a low-dose hormonal birth control would provide some relief, birth control with higher doses of hormones would provide even greater benefits for women with fibroids. While these birth control options can dramatically ease symptoms, some women find regular hormonal birth control increases the size of their fibroids. Low-dose birth control pills don’t have enough estrogen to cause fibroid growth.
If your symptoms are especially troubling, you may like to speak to your care provider about trying regular birth control pills, the NuvaRing, the progestin-releasing Mirena IUD, or the Depo-Provera shot. If you do switch to one of these options, monitor your symptoms closely to make sure your fibroids aren’t growing.
What About Emergency Contraceptive Pills?
Emergency contraceptive pills have higher than average hormone levels. Taking these pills when you need them shouldn’t pose a problem, but they’re not made for regular use. Taking them regularly could cause side effects, especially fibroid growth. If you want relief from your fibroids and regular pregnancy prevention, other hormonal birth control options are much better choices.