Oral contraception, also called birth control, is taken by over 62 million women between the ages of 15 and 44, according to a November 2011 study by the Guttmacher Institute, which researches reproductive health worldwide. The study found that 49 percent of women who use contraception have at least one other reason to use some form of birth control.
Birth control may be prescribed to help treat endometriosis and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or to prevent endometrial and ovarian cancers.
In endometriosis the uterine-lining tissue grows outside of the uterus. This condition has the potential to be painful and result in infertility. Birth control can help prevent the tissue growth and buildup, though it isn’t a cure.
PCOS is a hormone imbalance
that can result in irregular cycles, acne, unwanted hair growth on the face and body, thinner hair on the head and even infertility. One out of 15 women
is diagnosed with this disease. Oral contraceptives may be prescribed
along with diet and exercise to fight the symptoms, but not as a cure
Using birth control continually for one to five years can also help lower a woman’s chances of getting endometrial and ovarian cancers by 40 percent.
A family history of other cancers may indicate that a woman has a higher chance of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Taking a contraceptive is just one way to help prevent a tumor from forming.
Birth control can even help combat more common ailments. It’s been used to help clear acne and combat painful menstrual symptoms such as cramps, bloating and breast tenderness. In the process, a contraceptive can shorten bleeding and regulate when it occurs.
Contraceptives allow women who might otherwise contract painful diseases to not only live peacefully, but eventually have children.
Although using birth control is not the only option to treat these diseases, it’s an option chosen by a sizable number of American women.