President Obama recently asked all employers, other than houses of worship, to pay for free contraception for all their female employees. There was much opposition from religious institutions like hospitals that follow Roman Catholic beliefs and are pro-choice. I don’t want to get into a pro-choice/pro-life debate here. What I’d like these institutions to understand is that there are numerous uses for birth control other than preventing pregnancy.
Birth control can help to stabilize someone’s hormones that are out of whack. It can help make a woman more “regular” for those who have irregular or no periods due to stress, low body weight and excessive exercise. In some cases, birth control can treat endometriosis, a condition that causes severe cramps or pelvic pain. Most of these women take birth controls continuously to avoid having their periods, which has not been shown to negatively effect a woman’s health, or have a period four times a year when using contraceptions like Seasonale.
Birth control also helps to lighten heavy periods by reducing the amount of bleeding and length of time the period sticks around. Another added benefit is that women who have lighter or less frequent periods are less likely to experience anemia, or low red blood cell count. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the rest of the body.