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Image: Winston Chuang

#1 It may improve your mood 
PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is caused by the monthly fluctuations in your hormones – so, in theory, taking a controlled dose of hormones (which you get in the Pill) should help with your irritability and mood swings. Some brands however, like Yaz and Yasmin, claim that – based on studies they have conducted – their pills are more effective than others in reducing PMS. Yaz, for instance, is US FDA-approved to treat Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, the most severe form of PMS.

#2 It gives you lighter periods…
The controlled dose of oestrogen and progesterone in most birth control pills thins the endometrial lining, resulting in lighter periods. Qlaira in particular has been shown in trials conducted on women in North America, Australia and Europe to reduce menstrual blood loss by 88 per cent – in contrast, women who took a placebo saw a reduction of just 24 per cent.

#3 … or lets you skip them
You could go without your period if you take any oral contraceptive pill continuously, without a placebo break. Some women do this when they want to avoid the hassle of menses, such as when they’re travelling. But the effects of continually suppressing your period haven’t really been studied – no one knows for sure whether there’ll be any long-term risks, so always discuss things with your doctor first. Most doctors will advise having your menses at least once every six months. 

#4 You could get better skin
Your complexion could clear up when you’re on the Pill, especially if you’re taking ones with an anti-testosterone eff ect such as Yaz, Yasmin and Diane 35 – these pills block the action of the hormone, which is responsible for increasing the occurrence of acne.

#5 Your sex drive could plummet
One effect of pills with anti-testosterone properties is that you might lose your libido. If this happens, stop taking it and see your doctor. You could switch to another type of pill or a non-hormonal contraceptive, such as condoms, that won’t mess with your mojo.

Expert sources: Dr Christopher Ng, Obestetrician and Gynaecologist, Gynaemd Women’s & Rejuvenation Clinic, and Dr Seng Shay Way, Consultant Obestetrician and Gynaecologist, Raffles Fertility Centre

This story was first published in HerWorld Magazine January 2014.

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