Potential Noncontraceptive Benefits of Combined OCs

Reproductive System

Sexual intercourse

Increased libido

Increased ability to have orgasms


Decreased risk for fibroadenomas

Decreased risk for cystic breast disease

Decreased breast tenderness

Breast enlargement


Decreased risk for ovarian cancer

Decreased ovarian cysts

Treatment of ovarian cysts

Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome

Treatment of persistent anovulation

Fallopian Tubes

Decreased risk for ectopic pregnancy

Decreased risk for pelvic inflammatory disease

Treatment of endometriosis

Uterus: Endometrium or Myometrium

Decreased growth of leiomyomata

Decreased risk for endometrial cancer

Decreased dysmenorrhea

More regular menses

Decreased blood loss

Improvement in anemia

Ability to manipulate the cycle

Central Nervous System

Improvement in depression

Improvement in symptoms of premenstrual syndrome

Less nausea

Musculoskeletal System

Less bone loss (osteoporosis)


Improvement in acne and pilonidal cysts

Treatment of hirsutism

Prevention of androgen-induced alopecia

While it is true that combined pills may have the benefits listed in this table, some of these symptoms may improve or become worse. Acne is one such problem. This is also true for depression, nausea, breast tenderness, and a number of the conditions listed above.