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I’m not a sexually active teenager, but I am thinking about birth control. Not because I want to start having sex, but because I have heard that it comes with good benefits (like clearing up your skin and regulating your period). Are these things true about birth control and are there any other benefits? Also, how would I go about asking my parents for them?

Yes, women who do not need birth control often choose to take the pill, or to use the patch or the ring, for other “non-contraceptive” benefits, but these benefits can depend on the type of birth control. Most birth control pills, as well as the patch and the ring, contain two hormones — estrogen and progestin. These are called combined hormone methods, and they can protect against acne, anemia, bad cramps, bone thinning, cysts in the breasts and ovaries, endometrial and ovarian cancers, heavy periods, irregular periods, and premenstrual symptoms (like headaches and depression).

When it comes to talking to your parents about birth control, you can be honest about your decision to not have sex. You could have a conversation about the benefits of combined hormone methods, and why you feel one might be right for you. Think about giving your parents a heads-up by scheduling your talk in advance, and break the ice with something like, “This feels weird for me to talk about, and it may be for you too, but I want to ask about…”

Tags: birth control