15 Surprising Health Benefits of Contraception!

Unlocking the Hidden Benefits of Contraception: 15 Surprising Ways It Boosts Women's Health! | DoctorOnCall

Contraception, a pivotal aspect of women's healthcare, offers a range of unexpected health advantages beyond its primary role. These benefits, often not widely discussed, play a significant role in promoting overall well-being. As we delve into the lesser-known advantages of contraception, you'll discover how it can positively impact various facets of women's health.

1. Regulated Menstrual Cycles for a Happier You

The hormonal fluctuations associated with the menstrual cycle can lead to a range of physical and emotional symptoms.[1] Contraception, particularly combined hormonal methods, can help stabilise these hormonal shifts, resulting in more predictable and manageable menstrual cycles.[2] This can lead to reduced discomfort, improved mood stability, and a greater sense of well-being.[2]

2. Fertility Planning: Taking Control of Your Reproductive Journey

Beyond its primary role in preventing unintended pregnancies, contraception empowers women to actively plan and space pregnancies according to their life circumstances.[3] This deliberate approach to family planning allows for better preparedness, both emotionally and financially, leading to more positive pregnancy experiences.

3. Hormonal Balance and That Radiant Glow

Hormonal contraceptives that combine estrogen and progestin can have a positive impact on skin health.[4] By stabilising hormone levels, these methods can reduce sebum production and inflammation, resulting in clearer, healthier-looking skin.[4] This benefit is particularly appreciated by those prone to acne and related skin conditions.[4]

However, it's important to note that progestin-only hormonal contraceptives, including some hormonal IUDs, may not offer the same skin-improving effects and could potentially worsen acne.[4]

4. A Win Against Menstrual Woes

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms can vary widely in intensity and duration, but for many, they can be disruptive and debilitating. Some type of hormonal contraception can significantly alleviate the severity of PMS symptoms by regulating hormonal fluctuations, including mood swings, abdominal cramps, and breast tenderness, thereby enhancing overall quality of life.[5][6]

5. Taming the Menstrual Beast: Bye-bye Heavy Bleeding

Let's talk about menorrhagia, characterised by abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding, which can lead to physical discomfort and, in severe cases, anaemia.[7] Hormonal contraception, particularly combined oral contraceptives or hormonal IUDs, can reduce the volume and duration of menstrual bleeding.[8]This not only promotes physical comfort but also safeguards against potential complications associated with excessive blood loss.

6. Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer: A Shield You Didn't Expect

Research has shown that the use of hormonal contraception is associated with a reduced risk of developing ovarian and endometrial cancers.[9] This protective effect is thought to arise from the hormonal regulation provided by contraception, which can help maintain healthier cellular environments within the reproductive system.[9] This knowledge offers an additional layer of reassurance for women considering contraceptive options.

7. PCOS: Finding Balance with Contraception

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder affecting reproductive-aged women.[10]Hormonal contraception, such as birth control pills, can assist in regulating menstrual cycles, reducing androgen levels, and alleviating related symptoms like acne and hirsutism.[10] This can significantly improve the quality of life for those living with PCOS.

8. Migraine Relief: Taking the Edge Off

For women who experience migraines, hormonal fluctuations can often serve as triggers.[11] Certain forms of contraception, particularly progestin-only pills (POPs), have been shown to significantly and modestly reduce both the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.[12] 

This results in fewer days affected by migraines, as well as a decrease in the need for analgesics and triptans.[12] Ultimately, this leads to an overall improvement in headache-related quality of life, allowing for better daily functioning.[12] 

9. Strong Bones, Thanks to Contraception

Maintaining optimal bone health is crucial for women, especially as they approach menopause.[13]Studies have suggested that hormonal contraception, particularly methods containing oestrogen, can contribute to higherbone mineral density.[13] This serves as a protective factor against osteoporosis and related fractures later in life.[13]

10. Ectopic Pregnancies: Prevention is Key

Ectopic pregnancies, though rare, can be life-threatening.[14] Contraception acts as a safeguard by preventing unintended pregnancies, thus significantly reducing the risk of ectopic pregnancies.[15]This protection ensures the safety and well-being of women by averting potential complications associated with this serious condition.

11. Reduced Risk of Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids, benign growths in the uterus, can lead to heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, and other discomforts.[16] To manage these symptoms, hormonal birth control methods such as pills are often used. It's worth noting that this treatment may result in a slight increase in the size of the fibroids.[17] However, for many women, the advantages of reduced bleeding and pain outweigh this potential drawback.[17]

12. Improved Management of Endometriosis

Endometriosis, a painful condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, can be debilitating.[18]Hormonal contraception, especially continuous-cycle birth control pills or hormonal IUDs, can help manage the pain and reduce the growth of endometrial tissue.[18]

13. Protection Against Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs that can lead to long-term complications if left untreated.[19]While oral contraceptives have been found to provide protection against gonococcal PID, their impact on chlamydial PID remains uncertain.[20]

14. Positive Impact on Mental Health

The hormonal stability provided by certain forms of contraception can have a positive impact on mental health.[21] By reducing the intensity of mood swings and other emotional symptoms associated with hormonal fluctuations, contraception can contribute to overall emotional well-being[21].

15. Enhanced Well-being for Individuals with Disabilities

For individuals with certain disabilities or chronic health conditions, the predictability and regulation of menstrual cycles provided by contraception can greatly enhance their quality of life[22]. It can reduce the physical and emotional challenges associated with menstruation, allowing for greater independence and comfort[22].

Empowering Women's Health!

As we conclude our exploration of the surprising health benefits of contraception, it's evident that contraception is more than just a means of family planning. It's a powerful tool that empowers women to take charge of their reproductive health, providing a multitude of unexpected advantages.

From regulating menstrual cycles to reducing the risk of serious health conditions, contraception plays a pivotal role in enhancing overall well-being. It offers relief from common menstrual woes, provides a shield against certain cancers, and contributes to stronger bones. Moreover, contraception isn't just about physical health; it positively impacts mental well-being and quality of life for individuals with disabilities or chronic conditions.

Remember, choosing the right contraception method is a personal decision. It's important to consult with a healthcare provider who can offer personalised advice based on your unique circumstances.

Your reproductive health journey is uniquely yours, and you deserve the best care possible. Here's to a healthier, happier you!


  1. NCBI. “The menstrual cycle affects recognition of emotional expressions: an event-related potential study.” NCBI, 8 June 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5558101/. Accessed 18 September 2023.
  2. NCBI. “Hormonal Contraceptives Improve Women's Health and Should Continue to Be Covered by Health Insurance Plans.” NCBI, 3 October 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5891211/. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  3. World Health Organization (WHO). “Family planning/contraception methods.” World Health Organization (WHO), 5 September 2023, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/family-planning-contraception. Accessed 18 September 2023.
  4. Contemporary OB/GYN. “Contraception and its impact on acne.” Contemporary OB/GYN, 11 January 2023, https://www.contemporaryobgyn.net/view/contraception-acne. Accessed 7 November 2023.
  5. Nevatte, Tracy. “ISPMD consensus on the management of premenstrual disorders.” NCBI, 27 April 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955202/. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  6. NHS. “PMS (premenstrual syndrome).” NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pre-menstrual-syndrome/. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  7. Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Menorrhagia.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/menorrhagia. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  8. NCBI. “What are the treatment options for heavy periods?” NCBI, 4 May 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279293/. Accessed 8 November 2023.
  9. PubMed. “[Oral contraceptives and endometrial and ovarian carcinomas].” PubMed, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9815528/. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  10. NCBI. “Hormonal contraception in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: choices, challenges, and noncontraceptive benefits.” NCBI, 2 February 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5774551/. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  11. NCBI. “Migraine in women: the role of hormones and their impact on vascular diseases.” NCBI, 26 February 2012, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3311830/. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  12. PubMed. “Effectiveness of the progestin-only pill for migraine treatment in women: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” PubMed, 29 May 2017, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28554244/. Accessed 7 November 2023.
  13. Corson, SL. “Oral contraceptives for the prevention of osteoporosis.” PubMed, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8120858/. Accessed 8 November 2023.
  14. ACOG. “Ectopic Pregnancy.” ACOG, https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/ectopic-pregnancy. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  15. NCBI. “Contraceptive Use and the Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy: A Multi-Center Case-Control Study.” NCBI, 10 December 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4262460/. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  16. NCBI. “Impact of Contraception on Uterine Fibroids - PMC.” NCBI, 16 July 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8303102/. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  17. ACOG. “Uterine Fibroids.” ACOG, https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/uterine-fibroids. Accessed 7 November 2023.
  18. World Health Organization (WHO). “Endometriosis.” World Health Organization (WHO), 24 March 2023, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/endometriosis. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  19. RCOG. “Acute pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): tests and treatment patient information leaflet.” RCOG, https://www.rcog.org.uk/for-the-public/browse-our-patient-information/acute-pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid-tests-and-treatment-patient-information-leaflet/. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  20. Rosenberg, MJ. “Pelvic inflammatory disease and oral contraceptive use.” PubMed, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12281124/. Accessed 7 November 2023.
  21. NCBI. “Hormonal contraception and mood disorders - PMC.” NCBI, 1 June 2022, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9218393/. Accessed 19 September 2023.
  22. National Partnership for Women & Families. “Access, Autonomy, and Dignity: Contraception for People with Disabilities.” National Partnership for Women & Families, https://nationalpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/repro-disability-contraception.pdf. Accessed 19 September 2023.


The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. 

The images used in this article are for illustration purposes only. The author and publisher do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from the use or application of any information contained in this article.

*The free doctor consult initiative is supported and fully funded by DoctorOnCall