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Q & A with Dr. Cullins: Birth Control

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    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.

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