Women's Health

How Birth Control Can Protect Against Ovarian Cancer

Newer options, and risks of stopping birth control

Dr. Hal Lawrence is an obstetrician-gynecologist as well as the chief executive officer of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and stated that the bigger worry here should be scaring women away from having effective contraception, which could lead to further health risks and, of course, unwanted pregnancies. Dr. Lawrence stated "we're never going to eliminate all the potential risks that come with medication. But we know a lot of the benefits, and the No. 1 benefit is preventing unintended pregnancies and the health and socio-economic risks that go along with that."

Repeating history

While the results of the study may seem alarming or new, they actually aren't. In fact, research has been available for decades linking a small increase in breast cancer to birth control pills.

Newer medication

Some are surprised that given the awareness of potential increases in risks, that birth control pills haven't been improved to stop or lower that risk.

Some new pills utilize smaller doses of estrogen than the pills that first came onto the market, but still have the same level of risk. An interesting revelation was that even contraception that was not taken orally, such as implanted intrauterine devices that disseminate the hormone exclusively into the uterus, can still increase the risk. It is common for older women who have already had the number of children they desire, especially when they are already at a higher risk for breast cancer, to opt for IUDs. However, these studies show that this decision might not make too much of a difference when it comes to protection from cancer.