Non-Contraceptive Benefits of the Pill

Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP, discusses non-contraceptive benefits of the Pill.

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Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP, discusses non-contraceptive benefits of the Pill.
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Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP

Duration: 1 minute, 39 seconds

In discussing the guidelines that came out in December 2012 from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, the SOGC, they divided the benefits of being on the pill into contraceptive and non-contraceptive benefits.

These are benefits that you get in addition to contraception, and the SOGC has divided these benefits in terms of short-term benefits and long-term benefits. The short-term benefits include more regular cycles, less pain with your periods, the ability to schedule your periods.

This refers to extended or continuous use so that you can have a longer interval between periods, and that may done for social reasons, for medical reasons, for work reasons.

We also know that women have less acne and less extensive hair growth when they’re on the pill and these are all considered non-contraceptive benefits. In terms of more long term non-contraceptive benefits women have less anemia, there’s less gynecologic cancers. We see less ovarian cancer in women who have been on the pill.

And so when we look at the risk and benefit profile what is the risk of taking a medication, and what is the benefit? We have to look at the benefit being contraception, that’s the main reason you may be choosing to take the pill. But there are also other non-contraceptive benefits, and heavy periods, painful periods, severe acne, these may be things that can be controlled by birth control pills.

Presenter: Dr. Vivien Brown, Family Doctor, Toronto, ON

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.