When you think about birth control, the first thing you probably think of is that it prevents pregnancy. This is, obviously, true – but birth control does a lot more than just keep you from having a baby, and it’s important we start to talk about that. While birth control has become less taboo and more mainstream, there are still some people who assume that anyone taking birth control is “slutty,” or that they’re using it so that they can have sex without a condom. This kind of thinking can lead to more dangerous kinds of thinking, like the thought that birth control encourages casual sex. And, sure, most people on birth control are taking it so that they can have sex without stressing over pregnancy, but a lot of people are taking it for entirely different reasons.
As you may already know, birth control and women’s health in general is often under scrutiny because so many people don’t think it should be covered under medical insurance. Many people believe it’s optional, unnecessary, and too big of an expense. What these people don’t realize is how important birth control can be for a woman. For example: when I got an appendectomy in middle school, I had to take birth control because the stress on my body could have made me have my period for two weeks. Why the birth control hate? It’s one of the more versatile, useful drugs out there now. These are seven awesome things birth control can do for your body other than prevent pregnancy (which is awesome in it’s own right btw).
Regulate Your PeriodYour period is, ideally, *supposed* to last for five to seven days once a month. Unfortunately, it is not always like that. Some girls experience skipped periods, some have very long cycles, some have shorter ones, some can go a long time in between periods, others a shorter time. Irregular periods are common, but not good for you or something to ignore. Birth control is amazing at regulating your period, especially if it's hormonal, down to where you get your period the same exact day of the month every single month. Having a period that's out of wack is going to feel awkward and fixing it with a steady stream of regulated hormones is a lifesaver. Other than preventing pregnancy, regulating your period is right up there with a top reason to get on birth control.Source: iStock
Clear Up Your SkinHaving unruly acne, oily skin, and redness is frequently a sign of your hormones spiking and providing a nice assist to what might already be a chronic skin condition. Nice, right? Ever notice how you might break out around the same time or right before you get your period? Thanks, hormones. Regulating your hormones and keeping things nice and even might actually lead to clearing up your skin issues. Once the sudden triggers go, your skin might get the space that it needs to clear up and doesn't your skin need a break after all? Source: iStock
Make Your Breasts LargerThank you hormones for tricking our bodies into believing that they're pregnant so that our boobs get bigger. This usually comes along with breast tenderness and awkward "maybe I should get a new bra" feelings, but hey - your boobs are getting bigger! You might love it or hate it. It's no secret that birth control pills might cause you to retain water or bloat (which yes, might show up on your scale as weight gain) but one of those key places might happen to be your boobs! Yay boobs!Source: iStock
Reduce The Intensity Of CrampsWhen the hormones being released by your ovaries is reduced, so are your cramps. Since your cramps are set into motion by responding to your hormones, less intense hormones, or at least steady hormones, means less cramping. Ovulation cramps, menstrual cramps, you just get less cramps when you're on the pill. It might be worth getting on the pill for the sake of reducing your cramps alone if they're that bad... and we all know how awful they can be.Source: iStock
Treat EndometriosisEndometriosis is what happens when the tissue that normally grows inside your uterus actually grows on the outside. As you can imagine, it's pretty painful. If you have a friend with endometriosis or have it yourself, you know what I'm talking about. But, hormonal birth control can actually be used to treat endometriosis. The dosage and what levels of hormones vary with the birth control pills prescribed by your doctor, but the logic behind it is that these hormones in the pill will control the pain levels of endometriosis by preventing the tissue build up from getting worse. Source: iStock
Lower The Risk Of Certain CancersHormonal birth control can lower your risk of ovarian cancer. Since birth control causes you to skip the ovulation part of your cycle, your ovaries are triggered less and put into action significantly less than someone who is not on birth control. If you have a predisposition to certain kinds of cancers in your reproductive system, it might be worth getting on birth control as a form of preventative care. When you think of taking precautions against cancer, birth control usually isn't one of them, and yet... here we are. Welcome to it.Source: iStock
Potentially Skip Your Period AltogetherSurprise, surprise, there's no medical need to get your period if you aren't ovulating! What?! Since hormonal birth control makes you skip ovulation, it's perfectly normal for your period to go missing for the time being. The other variation on skipping your period is where you skip the placebo pill row in your birth control pack. You can just go directly to the next set of hormonal pills. So, if you're planning on going on vacation and it coencides with your upcoming period, you can skip it and totally be medically okay.Source: iStock
What awesome things does birth control do for you? Let us know in the comments!
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