family planning women

Can sex hormones be good for you?!?

Did you know that contraceptives that contain hormones have some other benefits that non-hormonal contraceptives cannot give you.

Here’s a summary of benefits you can get from  contraceptives that contain hormones:
Generally most hormone containing contraceptives (Pills, Injections and Implants) have the following advantages:

  1. Lighter periods in women with heavy menstrual flow
  2. Decreased or no ovulation pain
  3. Decreased or no menstrual pain
  4. Decreased risk of endometrial (womb lining) cancer and ovarian cancer
  5. Clearer skin-Less prone to acne.

As pointed out in a previous article (understanding your medicines), taking note of the key side effects of a drug is important.
Possible side effects associated with using hormonal contraceptives are:

  1. Nausea,
  2. Vomiting
  3. Weight changes (gain or loss)
  4. Menstrual changes such as spotting, heavy or light menses and no menses at all.
  5. Headache
  6. Breast tenderness

The good thing is that some of these side effects will disappear within the first few weeks-months of starting a method, but menstrual changes tend to stay throughout the period of use, but if you’re expecting them, you will be less surprised and can tolerate them while they occur.
One benefit of not having your periods is you are less likely to have anaemia, no menstrual pain and no menstrual mood swings. Finally, be aware that your period will return back to its usual style within weeks to some months after you stop using your method.

However, you should avoid hormonal contraceptives if you have any of the following conditions:

  1. You are obese or grossly overweight (Start a weight loss program but pending success, you can use a non-hormonal method like condoms or the IUDs.
  2. You are a heavy smoker (avoid hormone contraceptives i.e. use a non-hormonal method like condoms or IUD.
  3. You have blood disorders that may result in clots forming in your blood (deep vein thrombosis)-use a non-hormonal method like condoms or IUD.
  4. You have had a Myocardial infarction (i.e. heart attack) or a stroke. you can use a non-hormonal method like condoms or IUD.
  5. You have had breast cancer (in the past) or have an immediate family member (mother, sister) with breast cancer, then a non-hormonal methods will be preferred choice for you)
  6. You have abnormal vaginal bleeding or an STI. You should see a doctor to diagnose and treat your STI. In the meantime, use a condom  to avoid spreading or acquiring infections.

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