What are the 4 most important benefits a woman receives above and beyond contraception? #203/15

Q         Please provide me with an outline of the 4 most important benefits a woman on contraceptives receives ABOVE AND BEYOND CONTRACEPTION.

A:       

Message: Women receiving contraceptives receives SO MUCH MORE!!!I have almost heard it one time too often: “I don’t need to know about birth control.  I am done with that.”  But there are medical conditions for which the best approach today is one of our current contraceptive.  By preventing ovarian cancer or endometrial cancer, providing contraceptives may be life-saveing to some women who have no need for birth control at all.  Decreasing the number of missed days of work or school due to severe menstural cramps, pain or bleeding, may benefit women from 10 to 50 years of age whether or not they need contraception.  Our current contraceptives are a many-faceted group of drugs.  They are SO MUCH MORE than just contraceptives.
  1. From her first period until her last period, the most common reason the average woman goes to her physician is with regard to a menstrual cycle problem: heavy menstrual bleeding, painful menses, endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome.  Contraceptives may be beneficial for women with one or several of these problems.
  2. If a woman, her daughter or her grand-daughter is plagued by heavy menstrual bleeding, the single most effective non-surgical approach to heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) is the Levonorgestrel IUD called Mirena.  [Gupta, NEJM, 2013] [Clark A., et.al., Br J Obstet Gynecol, 1995] [Cote I., et. Al., Obstet Gynecol, 2002]
  3. Ovarian cancer is prevented by combined birth control pills and the protective effects last for 3 decades after a  woman has used pills for 10 or more years and then stops them.  [Vessey MP et. al., Endometrial ovarian cancer and OCs BR J Cancer 1995] [Ness, Am, J Epidemiology 2000]
  4. Endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus) is prevented by the LNG IUD (Mirena), by combined birth control pills and by Depo-Provera injections. Endometrial hyperplasia is now treated by the LNG IUD (Mirena). [Vessey MP et. al., Endometrial ovarian cancer and OCs BR J Cancer 1995]

Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH

Emeritus Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Emory University School of Medicine

Atlanta, GA 

To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of birth control pills, Mirena IUD and Depo-Provera injections, go to: www.managingcontraception.com.  You can order all of these books listed below from our website or by calling 404-875-5001. 

Key Words:  contraceptives, birth control pills, tubes tied, medical conditions, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, decreasing, menstrual cramps, pain, bleeding, endometriosis, effective, premenstrual syndrome, Levonorgestrel IUD (Mirena), ovarian cancer, combined pills, endometrial cancer, uterus, Depo-Provera injections.

Current Books:

Contraceptive Technology 20th edition

Managing Contraception 2015-2016 edition

Choices 2014 edition