Around 65% of sexually active American women use birth control. From oral pills to injections, contraception gives you the ability to decide if and when you want to grow your family.
The average couple wants 2-3 children, so you may choose birth control to avoid pregnancy during many of your reproductive years. Preventing pregnancy is the most common reason to use birth control, but that’s far from its only benefit.
Board-certified OB/GYN A. Michael Coppa, MD, and our team provide comprehensive women’s health care and birth control. We’re here to help you find a birth control method that fits your needs, and it’s time to learn more about a few major benefits birth control offers.
Protection against pregnancy
Pregnancy prevention is the most obvious benefit of birth control. Hormonal contraceptives work by releasing estrogen, progestin, or a combination of the two to reduce your chances of pregnancy.
Depending on the type of birth control you use, the hormones may stop ovulation, thicken cervical mucus, or thin the lining of your uterus to make pregnancy unlikely.
You need to use birth control correctly for maximum efficacy, so talk to Dr. Coppa about your lifestyle and habits to determine which method may be best for you.
Flexible family planning
Using birth control prevents unintended pregnancy, but depending on the method you choose, it also gives you flexibility in family planning. Many of the most popular birth control methods are reversible, which means you can stop using them if you decide you want to get pregnant.
Talk to Dr. Coppa about your family planning goals. If you want to start trying for a baby within a few months, oral pills or Depo-Provera® injections could be a good option. If you want to wait a couple of years or more before getting pregnant, a long-acting method like an intrauterine device (IUD) may be right for you.
More predictable menstrual cycles
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, but it’s not uncommon for your cycle to vary month to month. Irregular periods can be bothersome, and birth control regulates your cycle, making it easier to predict.
If you choose oral contraceptives, your period occurs during the placebo week of each pill pack. Some other birth control methods, like IUDs, could make your period significantly lighter or even make it stop completely.
Less painful periods
About 80% of women experience menstrual cramps before or during their periods. And for up to 10%, those cramps are so severe that they interfere with everyday activities. Certain gynecologic conditions, like endometriosis, can also make periods more painful.
If you have painful periods or an underlying condition like endometriosis, birth control could be an effective solution. Birth control can make your periods lighter, reduce cramps, and minimize other unpleasant symptoms.
Fewer hormonal symptoms
Over 90% of women report experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS is the result of hormonal fluctuation before your period, and it can trigger symptoms like mood swings, irritability, and bloating.
Because many birth control methods release hormones, they can actually reduce PMS and other symptoms of hormonal fluctuation. Birth control can also be an effective method of treating premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD), which causes more severe symptoms than PMS.
No matter your health needs or your family planning goals, Dr. Coppa is here for you. Schedule a consultation to find out more about your birth control options. We’re located in Cranston, Providence, and Smithfield, Rhode Island.