The Pill may help...
All women produce some testosterone, and while it's probably not enough to take your alto to a baritone, it can cause serum (oil) production along with its partner in crime: breakouts. Decrease your levels of testosterone, and you often can decrease levels of acne, too, says Lisa M. Keder, M.D., Director of the General Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Ohio State University Medical Center. Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep and Yaz are the only birth control pills approved by the FDA to help reduce acne. What's the difference? They contain norgestimate, a form of skin-friendly progesterone, which can decrease levels of testosterone -- and your investment on pore strips.
Symptoms of PMS and PMDD
OC's ease hormonal swings, meaning they can ease mood swings, too, especially those associated with PMS (premenstrual syndrome), or the more severe PMDD (premenstrual dysphonic disorder), says Dr. Stern. That's because birth control pills supply your body with a constant level of estrogen and progesterone hormones. Some oral contraceptives, such as Yaz and Yasmin, can even decrease the frequency and severity of premenstrual symptoms such as a bloating, water retention, breast tenderness and cramping.
Heavy or painful periods
Oral contraceptives inhibit the growth of the endometrial lining, which sheds itself during your monthly flow. Less lining equals lighter (probably less painful) periods. More good news: Extended-cycle pills such as Seasonale, Seasonique and Lybrel can slash the number of periods you get per year -- just four with Seasonale and Seasonique, and zero with Lybrel.
About three weeks into your monthly cycle, your estrogen levels plummet big time. That's what brings on your period -- and your headaches. Since most women experience shorter periods on the Pill, they also have shorter periods of headache-prone days. If menstrual migraines are still an issue, ask your doctor about Mircette, which has only two placebos rather than the usual seven. Or, try an extended-cycle pill such as Seasonale.
OC's drastically reduce the lifetime risk of ovarian cancer -- and the longer the period of time you take them, the better. Researchers from Harvard Medical School found a 10- to 12-percent decrease in risk after one year of use, and approximately a 50-percent decrease after five years of use. If that weren?t enough to make your girlie parts tingle, OC's also contribute to lower instances of endometrial cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome and ectopic pregnancies, says Aleksandr M. Fuks, M.D., Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Queens Hospital Center.