6 reasons to be on Birth Control (NOT for birth control)
Medically reviewed by Pandia Health’s CEO/Co-Founder Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Aariyana Britton, B.Sc
Birth control can be a sensitive topic to discuss. But, at Pandia Health, we live, breathe, eat, prescribe, and talk birth control. Many different types of birth control/contraception methods can help with hormonal and uterine wellbeing. Let’s take a look at some of the non-contraceptive benefits of being on birth control.
1. Use Hormonal Birth control to skip or regulate your period
What if there were a way to make #PeriodsOptional? You’re in luck because hormonal birth control can do this! You can use the IUD with hormone, birth control implant, injection, ring, patch, or pills to have fewer periods each year or none at all. Most birth control pills come in monthly packs with active pills for three weeks and placebo pills for the last week. Placebo pills don’t contain hormones and you get an artificial withdrawal bleed during placebo days. If you don’t want to bleed you can skip taking the placebo pills and just jump to the next pack. This will skip the withdrawal bleed because your body will have the birth control hormones in your system, preventing a bleed. This method works best with an estrogen-containing birth control. (But make sure you tell your doctor, so she can write enough packs of pills. You’ll need 17 per year instead of the usual 13.)
2. Birth control for PMS, PMDD, and mood swings
Over 85% of women experience some PMS, PMDD, and mood swings symptoms in the weeks leading up to their periods. PMS and PMDD can be treated with birth control and skipping the withdrawal bleed.
PMDD is a severe form of PMS that involves emotional and neurological symptoms. Yaz is the only FDA-approved birth control pill for treating PMDD. However, any birth control pill can make #PeriodsOptional and help with PMDD and PMS. There are over 40 different types of birth control pills, so if you don’t like one, try the others.
3. Birth Control for Acne
The top causes of acne are clogged pores, bacteria, and hormonal fluctuations. Acne is usually worse in adolescence and puberty for this reason. Hormonal birth control works to minimize the fluctuations of hormones and can help tame hormonal acne. Birth control pills with estrogen and progesterone are the most effective for helping with acne. Yaz is the only FDA-approved drug to use for acne but any combined birth control pill, the contraceptive ring, or patch should help acne by decreasing the amount of circulating testosterone.
4. Birth Control for PCOS
Oral contraceptives are used to manage PCOS. Only combination pills or the ring or patch are effective for PCOS. While we don’t know the exact cause of PCOS, we know it’s a common hormonal imbalance that affects 10% of women and causes multiple cysts that develop on the ovaries. This can cause heavy, irregular, and painful periods. Birth control pills balance the hormones, prevent new cysts, and decrease the circulating testosterone, resulting in less acne. Watch our CEO/Founder’s video on how to treat PCOS here.
5. Birth Control for menstrual headaches and migraines
Millions of Americans suffer from migraines and headaches. 80% of sufferers are women. Menstrual migraines are triggered by hormonal changes which happen if you aren’t on hormonal birth control. Menstrual migraines are linked to drops in estrogen and progesterone before periods start. See the TEDxBerkeley talk by Pandia Health’s CEO on the bottom of this page for more information on how to skip your monthly bleeds.
6. Birth Control for weight loss/gain
On the standard birth control pill, women can expect to gain at least a pound or two but on the birth control YASMIN, 60% of the women who take it, have lost a couple of pounds of water weight. Women who use progestin-only types may gain weight. The injection/shot is most famous for causing munchies. So if you want to gain weight, go for the shot.
Which Birth Control is best for you?
Like other medications, birth control has to be prescribed by a licensed doctor after having your health history reviewed and blood pressure evaluated. Every woman is different. To find the right birth control for you, make sure you give a list of the birth control pills you have tried in the past, what estrogen dose (3 different doses), what progesterone (there are 8 different ones), and discuss your concerns with your prescribing physician. Also, provide the side effects you have experienced.
Sign up with Pandia Health for:
- birth control consults with birth control expert physicians,
- “free” birth control with insurance (no copay, no deductible for most pills), No insurance? No problem. Most birth control pills are $15/pack (3 pack minimum) or $20 for 1 pack to cover shipping/handling. and
- FREE goodies (candy, stickers, and more) shipped to your home address with every package!