Birth Control: It's For More Than Just Pregnancy Prevention
Birth control is most often associated with preventing pregnancy. However, birth control has many other medical usages that might be able to help you safeguard or improve your health. Learn how birth control is for more than just preventing pregnancy.
Irregular periods are cycles that don't follow the normal menstruation cycle. For example, instead of having a period every month, a woman who experiences irregular periods might only have a cycle a few times a year. A common cause of this type of scenario is a hormonal imbalance. Birth control affects hormone levels, so physicians will sometimes prescribe this medication to help correct hormone levels and restore their patient's cycle to be more regular.
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is no laughing matter, especially in severe forms. Women who suffer from severe PMS have severe cramps, mood swings, and breast tenderness that can make it hard to go to work or school. Incidents of severe PMS are often the result of an extreme hormone imbalance. Birth control can help stabilize hormone levels during the menstrual cycle so that the woman feels the effects of PMS on a much milder level, if at all.
Women with endometriosis often have very painful menstruation cycles. Endometriosis is a condition that causes the lining of the uterus to thicken. As a result, it's common to have excessively heavy cycles and intense pain as the thicker lining is shed from the uterus. Birth control does not cure endometriosis, but it can be prescribed to help prevent the individual from having their period, which in turn helps them avoid the painful and stressful effects of the condition.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a medical condition that affects a large number of women. People with this condition deal with symptoms like excessive acne, male-pattern baldness, hair growth, weight gain, and irregular periods. The condition is thought to be the result of a hormone imbalance that causes the women to have higher levels of testosterone than estrogen. Birth control is thought to help stabilize the estrogen levels and lower the effects of the condition.
If your physician prescribes birth control to you and you are not actively trying to prevent pregnancy — talk to your doctor about your questions. Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you why he or she thinks birth control is the right option for you. Contact a medical facility like the Western Branch Center for Women to learn more.