Q & A with Dr. Cullins: Birth Control
Does using the pill really help cure acne?
Yes. Less acne is one of the many non-contraceptive advantages to using combined hormone methods of birth control — the pill, the patch, and the ring. The other non-contraceptive advantages include
- less menstrual flow and cramping
- fewer ectopic pregnancies (those in a fallopian tube)
- fewer noncancerous breast growths
- fewer ovarian cysts
- reduced risk of cancer of the lining of the uterus and of the ovaries
- less iron deficiency anemia that results from heavy menses
- fewer premenstrual symptoms, as well as related headaches and depression
- protection against osteoporosis — loss of bone mass
- less chance of infection of the fallopian tubes (pelvic inflammatory disease), which often leads to infertility
- less excess body hair
- less vaginal dryness and painful intercourse associated with menopause
In fact, as many as one third of the prescriptions written for the pill are not written for birth control; they are written for the non-contraceptive benefits.
Published: 12.13.05 | Updated: 02.27.07
This column is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have a medical problem, please call toll-free 1-800-230-PLAN for an appointment with the Planned Parenthood health center nearest you.