J Korean Med Assoc.  2013 Apr;56(4):321-325. 10.5124/jkma.2013.56.4.321.

Clinical use of oral contraceptives

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. dooseok.choi@samsung.com

Abstract

Since oral contraceptives (OCs) were first introduced in 1960, they have been used as a highly effective contraceptive method for over 50 years. Besides the prevention of pregnancy, they provide various non-contraceptive benefits. Well-known non-contraceptive benefits related to menstruation include reduction of dysmenorrhea and heavy menstrual bleeding. In addition, many women see improvements in acne and symptoms from premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder with OC use. In addition, OCs also can be used for the management of endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome, and have also been reported to decrease the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. Consequently, many women may choose to use OCs in light of their non-contraceptive benefits. These non-contraceptive benefits can encourage women to select OCs as an useful option for contraception, improving their quality of life, and even providing public health benefits. Therefore, clinicians should be familiar with OCs and able to provide detailed information regarding their non-contraceptive benefits. The purpose of this article is to review the current evidence for the non-contraceptive benefits of OCs.

Keyword

Oral contraceptives; Non-contraceptive benefits

MeSH Terms

Acne Vulgaris
Contraception
Contraceptives, Oral
Dysmenorrhea
Endometrial Neoplasms
Endometriosis
Female
Hemorrhage
Humans
Light
Menstruation
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Pregnancy
Public Health
Quality of Life
Contraceptives, Oral
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