The use of contraceptives for acne and period pain reduction

by Thando Mgobhozi

There are so many unknown health benefits that the birth control pill offers more than it just being a pill that prevents involuntary pregnancy. A lot of women are misinformed or miseducated about these benefits and more often than not, are informed about the negative effects of the pill. What’s important is for you as a woman to make it your mission to learn about the different kinds of contraceptives and figure out which one works best for you because we all have different bodies and what may work for others may not necessarily work for you. Most of the time it’s usually trial and error before you get it right but it will be completely worth it at the end especially if you have acne prone skin or extremely painful period pains.

What are some of the health benefits you may ask? Some of the health benefits include and are not limited to;

  • Regulation of menstrual periods
  • Decreased menstrual cramps
  • Treatment for acne
  • Treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Lowered risk of anemia
  • Lowered risk for cancers such as ovarian and uterus cancer

Period pain reduction

Many women experience severe menstrual cramps during their period. This may cause discomfort and results in less productivity because it is not ideal having to do any activities while you’re in pain. There are home remedies such as using a hot water bottle, exercising or just simply taking pain meds for the pain. These remedies, however, do not work for everyone and the pain does not go away. Birth control pills are the solution for this as they can help to decrease menstrual cramps. Not only does the combined birth control pills prevent ovulation but they also get rid of the pain that comes with ovulation during the menstrual cycle.

Acne reduction

If you have acne prone skin and have tried over-the-counter and prescription medications with no luck, birth control pills may be prescribed to help improve your acne. The hormones in most birth control pills can be used to treat acne. So it really does not matter which type of birth control pills you take. You do, however need to be patient with the process as it may take a few months before you notice a difference with your acne.

If you do have more questions regarding the birth control pill see birth control pill guide for frequently asked questions(FAQ’s). As I’ve mentioned previously, find what works best for you and stick to that.

What about other forms of contraceptives? Can they too help with acne and period pain reduction?

The shot

The shot also known as Depo-Provera has not been proven to help with acne but periods do become fewer and lighter for most women and often stop altogether. Not only will you not experience menstrual cramps but you will also have pad/tampon free days. This is of course if you are completely comfortable with the idea of not getting your period and not keen on taking the pill everyday. You should however check out the side effects of the shot before you are certain it’s for you. See depo-provera injection for a better guide.

Most contraceptive injections cause irregular or delayed periods which makes them effective in terms of period pain reduction but they do come with much more complicated side effects than the birth control pill. This does not mean the birth control pill is perfect as a lot of women have complained about the Yaz birth control pill. A woman by the name of Seo in a Sunday Times Lifestyle article said, “I’m currently on Yasmin and I’ve been an emotional wreck since I’ve started it. I feel nauseous every single night after I take it.” Read more Birth control stories

Vaginal Ring

The vaginal ring is also said to be helpful in treating conditions such as acne, premenstrual symptoms, ovarian cysts and endometriosis. Make sure to ask your doctor about it first as well as the side effects.

One thing to take from contraceptives is that there are both positive and negative side effects and it’s really up to you to decide if it is all worth it. Contraceptives were created to help us even though our bodies might sometimes reject them. There shouldn’t be any real dangers to consuming contraceptives but always make sure to speak to your doctor about all possibilities. I’d advise you to try other methods such as prescribed medication and if that doesn’t work for you then you can explore other contraceptives. It is also important to note that the main duty or purpose of contraceptives is to prevent unwanted pregnancies and this is only a barrier method, thank goodness that they have other benefits. Always remember to use a condom and protect yourself against STIs, including HIV as contraceptives won’t protect you from contracting STIs.

Read the upcoming issue of the magazine as we debunk some myths around contraceptives


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