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Birth control pills and cervical cancer

Birth control pills are one of the most effective and popular methods of modern contraception for women. The popularity of this method is based on high level of reliability and efficiency (up to 99%) as well as on simple use. Since the mid-eighties, when the contraceptive pills appeared on the market, they have become the most popular method of contraception. Of course, it was one of the most significant developments of the twentieth century in the field of medicine. Millions of unwanted pregnancies and abortions have been prevented. It is important to note that during last decade many studies were devoted to long-term results of using birth control pills. Several scientific publications described the influence of long-term use of birth control pills at women body. Very special attention was paid to increased risks of cancer development. Birth control pills and cervical cancer are the subject of a number of studies in different countries.

Birth control pills have been shown to increase the risk of cervical cancer; however, human papillomavirus is the major risk factor for this disease

Birth control pills and cervical cancer – How do Birth control pills affect cervical cancer risk?

Evidence shows that long-term use of pills (5 or more years) may be associated with an increased risk of cancer of the cervix (the narrow, lower portion of the uterus). Although pills use may increase the risk of cervical cancer, human papillomavirus (HPV) is recognized as the major cause of this disease. Approximately 14 types of HPV have been identified as having the potential to cause cancer, and HPVs have been found in 99 percent of cervical cancer biopsy specimens worldwide.

Birth control pills and cervical cancer

Birth control pills and cervical cancer

A 2003 analysis by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found an increased risk of cervical cancer with longer use of pills. The data suggested that the risk of cervical cancer may decrease after pills use stops. In another IARC report, data from eight studies were combined to assess the effect of pills use on cervical cancer risk in HPV-positive women. Researchers found a fourfold increase in risk among women who had used pills for longer than 5 years. Risk was also increased among women who began using pills before age 20 and women who had used pills within the past 5 years.

Risk factors for cervical cancer

Starting to have sex early (before age 18)

Starting birth control pills early (before age 20)

Having had many sexual partners Being infected with an STI or having had a sex partner who has an STI

Smoking


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