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.
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