While the pill has been getting something of a bad rap recently after scientific research suggested it could be responsible for the onset of some mental health issues, a new study indicates that some varieties of the oral contraception could actually be providing an extremely useful health benefit.
Research conducted at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recently looked into the correlation of certain hormones when it comes to warding off common but draining illnesses like the flu, and discovered a pretty interesting link.
Testing their theory on a group of mice, the study revealed that an increase in the hormone progesterone significantly improves the functionality of the immune system, meaning you could be less likely to suffer the flu if your pill contains progesterone.
While there are still further in-depth tests to be carried out to see whether this translates to humans, it's a pretty good indicator that our pills could be adding on an extra health benefit we never even knew about.
Progesterone is commonly found in the combined pill, where it's mixed with estrogen, as well as the mini-pill where it's the sole hormone used to protect from pregnancy. It does so by putting a pause on your ovulation as well as causing the mucus in the cervix to thicken which prevents entry of sperm into your fertilisation zone. Mmmm.
So if you take the likes of Microgynon, Cilest or Femodene, then you can look forward to a sniffle-free winter if these scientists' discovery is to be true for humans too. Great stuff.
Follow Cat on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.