Women's Cancer Research Foundation
Intrauterine Device May Reduce Ovarian Cancer Risk by 30%
Women who have ever used an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control may have a 30% lower risk for ovarian cancer. The use of the levonorgestrel (hormonal medication which is used in various birth control methods) IUD reduces the risk of uterine cancer but we do not know if there is a similar benefit for ovarian cancer.
While the reduced risk for ovarian cancer with IUD use is provocative, additional research is necessary.
In a recent study, the authors endeavored to assess the benefits of IUD use in women. The researchers analyzed data from four previously conducted studies with patients who ever used an IUD and five previous studies with patients who never used an IUD. Compared with women who never used an IUD, those who had, exhibited a lower risk of ovarian cancer by approximately 30%.
The specific reason remains unclear, but possibly the mechanical barrier against potential carcinogenic agents, decreased retrograde menstruation and displacement of endometrial cells and progesterone-induced benefit amongst hormonal IUDs contributed to the reduced risk for ovarian cancer. While the reduced risk for ovarian cancer with IUD use is provocative, additional research is necessary.
About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of Southern California’s and the nation’s most active research organizations for female cancers. We are dedicated to serving the interests of patients, families, and friends affected by women’s cancers. WCRF partners with physician-scientists nationally to make differences in women’s lives by offering hope, strength, and progress.
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