Contrary to what popular media would like you to believe, birth control can do a whole lot more for your body than prevent pregnancies. From regulating periods to eliminating heavy and life-disrupting cramps, your birth control pill can already help in a variety of ways that aren’t directly correlated to pregnancy preventing.
According to Cosmopolitan, research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examined how hormones may be able to defend the body against common ailments — such as the flu. The theory was tested on a group of mice, and the scientists’ findings revealed that an increase of progesterone — a hormone present in many oral contraceptives — greatly increases the immune system’s ability to function.
More research must be done before we know if progesterone has a similar effect in humans. But if your pills contain progesterone, they could be pulling double duty by lowering your likelihood of catching the flu and other common infectious diseases. Especially with the changing weather and the oncoming “flu season” approaching, this is pretty good news for those who take birth control pills already.
Of course, progesterone also does a good job of preventing pregnancies if taken correctly. Working together with the hormone oestrogen, it puts your ovulation on hold and thickens the mucus in your cervix so sperm can’t get through.