Fact or Fiction: The Truth about Oral Contraceptive Pills

PCOS BlogOral contraceptive pills have been prescribed for many years, but they still get a bad rap. I don’t necessarily feel obligated to defend the “Pill”, but I do feel compelled to clear up popular misconceptions that still seem to plague the most common treatment for PCOS.

Here’s the truth:

  1. The Pill does NOT cause cancer. Oral contraceptive pills actually protect against cancer of the ovaries and cancer of the lining of the uterus. In fact, a woman is half as likely to get cancer of the uterus or ovaries if she takes the Pill. Most experts believe that taking oral contraceptive pills does not cause any increased risk of developing breast cancer either. Even girls with a family history of breast cancer can take the Pill.
  2. The Pill does NOT cause birth defects. Birth defects may be caused by genetic problems, problems with chromosomes, or environmental factors but they are not caused by the Pill.
  3. Girls/women do NOT need to take a break from the Pill. There is no medical reason that a young or adult woman needs to “take a break” or come off of the Pill. It’s safe to be on the Pill for years, whether to regulate your menstrual cycle, treat your cramps, or to use as birth control or hormone replacement therapy.
  4. Being on the Pill now does NOT mean that a woman will have trouble getting pregnant when she stops taking it. There is no change in fertility with the use of oral contraceptive pills, but if a woman’s period was irregular before starting the Pill it is likely that her periods will be irregular again when she stops taking it.
  5. Girls do NOT need a pelvic exam before going on the Pill. Unless there is another problem other than irregular periods, a pelvic exam is not needed just to start the Pill for the treatment of PCOS.

-Nurse Phaedra