Most women use some sort of birth control. Nationwide alone, about 11.2 million women between the ages of 15-44 use the pill as their form of birth control, but teens especially (82 percent) are using the pill for reasons other than just "birth control." Talking about periods and birth control, however, can be considered a"‘taboo" subject when discussed with others. When I was younger and a little more naive about this stuff (only really a year ago), I assumed people who were on birth control were sexually active, and that was the only reason they were using it. But I recently started using birth control pills and, let me tell you, I should’ve started LONG ago. So I’m here to give you a list of benefits to taking birth control, specifically being on the pill, besides preventing you from having a child.
I will talk exclusively about the pill because it is the most common form of birth control (25 percent of women use the pill) and if you think about all the different options women have for birth control, that’s actually a lot. The pill can also help with variety of things — other than simply preventing pregnancy — that other forms of birth control can’t.
Birth control pills contain hormones that suppress ovulation. You can get the pills in packs of either 21 or 28 days. If you get the 21 pack, you just stop taking the pills for a week. The 28 pack has you still taking pills for that week, but the pills are useless and filled with nothing, you just take the pill as a reminder to take it every day. That week of no pills (or the useless ones) is the week that menstruation should start.
I love having the pill as my form of birth control. Here are the main advantages of being on the pill.
1. They're easy to use, and safe too.
First off, the pill is extremely easy to take. It is just a tiny pill that you take everyday. I used to be terrified of swallowing pills and could almost never do it, but the birth control pills are super small and easy to swallow with no problem. They are safe because they are giving you the hormones you need. Plus, it won’t have any effect on future fertility.
2. They help with irregular periods.
Irregular periods, or in some cases, no period at all, are a pain in the butt — 25 percent of teen girls reported having irregular periods, and that sucks — because if you don’t know when it’s coming, you can’t prepare for it. The pill will help with that. And for some girls who have diseases like PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) where your period just has stopped coming altogether, the pill should help with bringing it back AND bringing it back on a cycle.
3. They help with painful periods.
Most people experience some form of pain/cramp while on their periods, 70-91 percent of teen girls reported having painful periods. The pill, like most other forms of birth control, actually make your periods lighter by making the tissue lining your uterus thinner. Lighter periods can help reduce menstrual pains.
4. They help with acne.
Going through puberty (basically since we started getting our periods) was, for the most part, an uphill battle with acne. The hormones in the pills are healthy for you and will help clear up your skin without all the different types of face wash (still wash your face though, just saying).
The pill, though, has it's disadvantages too.
The main issue is its inconvenience. Having to remember to take it every single morning can be a struggle. The first month for me wasn’t that difficult — I always remembered. But after that first month I would forget left and right and either take it in the afternoon when I got home or double up the next day. (Yes, you can and should double up if you miss a day. It won’t help in the case of preventing pregnancy but if you are taking the pills for hormone reasons, take every single pill.) Other common issues are: headaches, nausea, weight gain and diarrhea.
Honestly, if you’re not yet, I would suggest going on the pill before college. It's great for you and helps your body more then you realize.
Also, if you don’t think the pill is for you but want to find some other form of birth control, or just want to see your other options, you can go here. This website will seriously tell you about EVERY possible form of birth control and the pros and cons of each one.
Lead Image Credit: BruceBlaus via Wikimedia Commons