WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A recent study suggests that using a combination of contraceptives may prevent the development of nearly all forms of ovarian cancer.
- According to the study, women who used combined birth control had a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer than those who had never used contraceptives at all.
- The United Nations data made the researchers believe that hormonal birth control prevented about 21% of ovarian cancers in the women who were part of the study.
A recent study, published in BMJ medical journal, reports that the use of modern contraceptive pills, patches or rings containing both estrogen and progestin, were linked to a reduced chance of developing ovarian cancer in women of reproductive age.
The study’s results supported previous data that showed comparable results with the use of standard forms of oral birth control used in the 80’s.
“Based on our results, contemporary combined hormonal contraceptives are still associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women of reproductive age, with patterns similar to those seen with older combined oral products,” researchers said.
The use protected almost all types of ovarian cancer, the researchers said.
UK researchers examined data from the Danish Sex Hormone Register Study, following Danish women ages 15 to 79 from 1995 to 2014. After removing those who had been treated for infertility, cancer, venous thrombosis or blood clots, the study narrowed to reproductive women aging 15 to 49. About two million women participated in the study.
The program segregated the subjects into three groups: those who were absolutely not using hormonal contraception, presently using it or had used within last year, and those who discontinued.
According to the study, women who had never used hormonal contraceptives have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than those women who had used at some point.
The risk reduction developed to strengthen with continuing use of the combined hormonal contraceptive and decreased once use was stopped.
With the use of hormonal birth control, an estimated 21% of ovarian cancers among the women in the study were prevented.
Yet no conclusions were made since they had few exclusive users of progestin-only birth control and the study found no risk reduction benefit from the said method.
The United Nations data showed that around 100 million women worldwide use hormonal birth control. Over 238,000 of them were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 and more than 150,000 died as per the International Agency for Research on Cancer.