Birth control pills carry surprising non-contraceptive benefits for some women. CNN's Judy Fortin reports.
For some young women, their monthly period is more than just a curse, it’s a real nightmare.
When period cramps are incapacitating, so they prevent you from going to work, they prevent you from going to school, they require you to take medications.
One way to lessen the pain is to give these patients birth control pills. The reason why it works is pretty simple.
In any situation, that pill has the ability to decrease the blood flow that’s associated with your menstrual period, and decreasing that helps to decrease the cramps associated.
But some parents worry that by putting their daughters on the pills so early, they expose them to risks later on in life.
Luckily, there are no risks involved with long-term usage of the pill, and in fact your non-contraceptive benefits increase, the longer that you are on the pill. After even five years of being on the birth control pill, your risk of ovarian cancer drops by 80%, your lifetime risk of uterine cancer drops by 50%, and possibly some other protective effects for other types of cancers.
But there are some risk factors that can make this pill not the right choice.
Well, I think one of the things to be sure of is your own family history. So if you have a strong family history of cardiac disease, of blood clots, then it’s important no matter what medication your teenage decides to go on, it’s important to make sure that you are aware of that and you let her doctor be aware of that.
Make sure you discuss all this with your doctor before deciding if popping a pill might make your monthly pain go away.
Judy Fortin, CNN, Atlanta.