What does birth control do?
A distinctive feature of the modern world is a large-scale movement to free the individual from various cultural, religious and social stereotypes. A significant part of this process is associated with the attainment by women of reproductive freedom. This means that the woman is given back the right to control her own body: to live such a sexual life which she prefers, and independently decide whether she is ready to conceive or end an unwanted pregnancy. In many ways, it was the emergence and development of hormonal contraception that allowed women to take control of their bodies.
All hormonal contraceptives work on the same principle: they suppress ovulation and / or do not allow the ovum to attach to the surface of the uterine mucosa. This is due to the fact that the body constantly receives a small amount of synthetic sex hormones. The suppression of ovulation immerses the ovaries in an artificially induced controlled “sleep”: they are reduced in size and the follicles cease to throw out the ovum in vain.
Due to the fact that hormonal contraceptives help stabilize the endocrine profile of the female body, they have not only contraceptive, but also therapeutic, that is, non-contraceptive effect. Gynecologists and endocrinologists believe that modern women suffer from environmental and social reproductive dissonance – in other words, the dramatic difference between how we live and how our ancient biological mechanism works.
The lifestyle of a modern woman often does not imply a permanent pregnancy, but also requires her to withstand a large social burden. Since contraception appeared, the number of woman’s monthly cycles has increased significantly over the course of her life. Monthly hormonal adjustment is associated not only with the monthly risk of premenstrual syndrome symptoms or dysphoric disorder, but also drains the strength of the body as a whole. A woman has the right to spend these energy resources at her discretion on any other kind of constructive activity – and hormonal contraceptives help in this.
Due to the action described above, hormonal contraceptives treat the premenstrual syndrome symptoms and are even able to cope with the manifestation of a more severe form of it – premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Using the combined estrogen-progestin contraceptives the endocrinologists correct hyperandrogenism – an excess of male hormones in a woman's body. This excess can lead to a violation of the cycle, infertility, heavy menstruation or their absence, obesity, psycho-emotional problems and other serious conditions. Because of hyperandrogenism the women may be disturbed by other problems: hirsutism (increased male-type hair growth), acne (inflammation of sebaceous glands, pustules), as well as many cases of alopecia (hair loss). The effectiveness of combined oral contraceptives in the treatment of these diseases is quite high.