Can birth control actually make period pains worse?
We’ve got a lot to appreciate about being women, but let’s face it — period pains are the WORST. We’re curious about the relationship between birth control pills and period pain, so we did some investigating.
Cramps are caused by prostaglandins, secreted by glands in the uterus. The higher the levels of that hormone in your body, the more likely you’ll be wishing companies offered sick days just for your period (green tea can help, just FYI).
We had a chat with a gynecologist a few months ago who told us that hormonal birth control is great for regulating periods. Not having to guess when it’s going to happen? Yes, please!
“Taking a birth control pill can help regulate your periods and make them lighter, shorter and more predictable,” Michelle Petropoulos, a physician assistant who’s been certified as an expert by U By Kotex revealed in a Q&A on their site. “Cramping and vomiting can be greatly decreased as well.”
Experts at University of California Berkeley agree that birth control pills are a safe choice for dealing with cramps.
“Oral hormonal contraceptives have been studied extensively for many years, and are generally considered very safe. Besides preventing unplanned pregnancy, birth control pills can help to reduce the discomfort that may accompany menstruation, such as painful cramps and excessive bleeding,” their wellness website reads.
This all sounds positively heavenly, TBH.
The short answer here, though? It varies from woman to woman.
Birth control pills are generally believed to ease menstrual cramps and regulate your cycle, but the reality is that it’s probably going to be different for everyone. Additionally, HealthDay reports that an IUD can often make cramps worse.
For some, birth control might be the best way to go, but you and your doctor should be making the decision either way. There are various types of birth control, each with their own benefits and side effects.
It’s a good idea to have an open conversation with your gynecologist about the best path to take based on what you’re comfortable with, the experience you have each month with your period, and your doctor’s medical knowledge.
In the meantime, don’t let those cramps get you down, ladies!