The New No-Period, No-PMS Birth Control Pills

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In the beginning, there was folic acid added to prevent birth defects should a woman become pregnant.

  • Yasmin is a less-PMS, less-acne pill. It has 28-pill monthly packs — 21 active pills and 7 inactive pills. Your monthly period is lighter, more regular.
  • The hormones in today’s birth control pills are “a little more forgiving than in the past,” Estes tells WebMD. “With standard birth control pills, you really had to take them at the same time every day or risk cervical cancer risk. The risk returns to that of never-users within a decade of stopping oral contraceptives.

    What’s the Breast Cancer Risk From Birth Control Pills?

    Some women worry: Is there long-term risk of or other hormone-fueled cancers?

    “>breast cancer is that there is no link,” Estes says. “We have to extrapolate what we know about conventional birth control pills. But we have no reason to believe your risk of breast cancer will increase over your lifetime because of continuous-use birth control pills.”

    While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been linked to a slight increased risk of breast cancer, the hormones used in birth control pills are different. “These are different estrogens and progestins than are used in HRT, explains Ross. “They have been studied since the 1960s, and good data suggests what’s good and not good about them. Breast cancer has never been one of the concerns with birth control pills.”

    Also, there is no increased risk to the uterus or uterine lining (the endometrium), he says.

    In fact, taking birth control pills has health advantages, Ross points out. There is evidence that birth control pills protect against cancers of the ovary and uterus, as well as against pelvic inflammatory disease and iron-deficiency . The combination pill can reduce acne, the risk of an ectopic pregnancy, noncancerous breast cysts, and ovarian cysts.

    “People don’t talk enough about the decreased risk of ovarian and uterine cancers, decreased acne, decreased formation of ovarian cysts,” says Ross.