New contraceptive pills can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer



The study, published in the journal The BMJ, showed that this positive effect was reinforced by longer periods of use and persisted several years after discontinuation.

New contraceptive pills can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer

Representative image

New forms of combined contraceptive pills – containing both lower doses of estrogens and newer progestogens – can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer in young women, according to a study.

The study, published in the journal The BMJ, showed that this positive effect was reinforced by longer periods of use and persisted several years after discontinuation.

"The reduced risk seems to persist after stopping use, although the duration of the benefit is uncertain," the study said.

Worldwide, at least 100 million women use hormonal contraception every day.

For the study, researchers from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark analyzed data for almost 1.9 million Danish women aged 15-49 years between 1995 and 2014.

Women were categorized as never-users (no hormonal contraception registration), current or recent users (up to one year after stopping use), or former users (more than one year after stopping use) of different hormonal contraceptives.

Most (86 percent) of the use of hormonal contraceptives related to combined oral products.

The researchers found that the number of cases of ovarian cancer was highest in women who had never used hormonal contraception (7.5 per 100,000 person years), while in women who ever used hormonal contraception, the number of cases of ovarian cancer was 3.2 per 100,000 person. years.

The reduced risk for combined products was observed in almost all types of ovarian cancer, and there was little evidence of significant differences between products containing different types of progestogens.

"Based on our results, today combined hormonal contraceptives are still associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women of reproductive age, with patterns similar to those of older combined oral products," the authors of the study said.

Previous research had shown that older products, which contained higher levels of estrogen and older progestogens, were associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer.

But it was not known whether the newer contraceptives had the same benefit.

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