Beyond Birth Control: Noncontraceptive Benefits of Hormonal Methods and Their Key Role in the General Medical Care of Women

Sarina Schrager, Magnolia Larson, Jensena Carlson, Kathryn Ledford, Deborah B. Ehrenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Contraceptives that contain estrogen and/or progestins are used by millions of women around the world to prevent pregnancy. Owing to their unique physiological mechanism of action, many of these medications can also be used to prevent cancer and treat multiple general medical conditions that are common in women. We performed a comprehensive literature search. This article will describe the specific mechanisms of action and summarize the available data documenting how hormonal contraceptives can prevent ovarian and uterine cancer and be used to treat women with a variety of gynecological and nongynecological conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, heavy menstrual bleeding, polycystic ovary syndrome, acne, and migraines. Contraceptive methods containing estrogen and progestin can be used for a wide variety of medical issues in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)937-943
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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