Photo: Rich Pedroncelli

Today is World Population Day and this year's theme is"Family Planning is a Human Right".

Apart from preventing pregnancy, there are other benefits associated with using a contraceptive pill.

Some experts punt both combination and progesterone-only pills as the best treatment for menstrual cramps, heavy periods and lowering the risk of ectopic pregnancies.

Acne: Many contraceptive pills contain norgestimate - a form of skin-friendly progesterone which can decrease levels of testosterone in the body.

Gynaecological conditions: Many women struggle with either a heavy cycle, irregular periods or period pains. Contraceptives can also help ease the symptoms of abnormalities or conditions such as endometriosis.

Certain birth control pills may ease mood swings, especially those associated with premenstrual syndrome, or the more severe premenstrual dysphonic disorder.

Menstrual migraines: About three weeks into your monthly cycle, oestrogen levels plummet and can result in headaches. Certain contraceptives pills can help decrease migraines.

Endometriosis: This is a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside it. While the condition can’t be cured, it can be managed. Most experts believe that birth control that eliminates menstruation can slow the growth of endometrial cells and reduce symptoms.

Birth control types

Depo-Provera: A hormonal shot that protects against pregnancy for 3 months. Only 3% of users fall pregnant a year.

Birth control implant: This is a matchstick-sized rod that a doctor places under the skin of a woman’s upper arm. It releases the same hormone that’s present in a birth control shot. The failure rate is less than 1%.

Tubal Implants: A newer procedure blocks the fallopian tubes without surgery. A doctor inserts a small metal or silicone implant inside each tube. Scar tissue grows around the implants and blocks the tubes. Once an X-ray confirms the tubes are blocked, no other form of birth control is needed.