I'm relatively young and my cycle is strong. But it's really frequent. Like every 2-3 weeks. Without birth control, my cramps are...well, you know how when you're a kid how you're afraid of scary monsters being under the bed? Yeah. Those are my cramps. But with a light birth control that contains estrogen, it's much better and totally manageable. Fortunately, my other 2 meds allow for birth control to be effective. I know some people can't take birth control at all, let alone with other meds.
PS. Happy Lupus Awareness Month, and May the 4th be with you!