Garden State Gynecology

Birth Control Pills May be Helpful in Preventing Certain Cancers

There are many benefits to birth control pills, way beyond preventing pregnancy. New research shows that taking the birth control pill might have another benefit that we don’t think of as ofte as we should…… Protection against cancer.

The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published a newly released study showing that, taking birth control pills may help prevent certain forms of cancer. The University of Aberdeen followed 46,000 women over the course of up to 44 years. This has been the longest running study ever in regarding oral contraceptives.

Studies show that pill users were less likely to develop colorectal, endometrial, and ovarian cancers than those who had never taken the pill. Researchers discovered that one in three women taking the pill “during their reproductive years” were protected from developing ovarian and endometrial cancers, while one in five were protected from colorectal cancer.
Conducting such a long running study of 44 years allowed a true and accurate evaluation of women taking oral contraceptives and women that have never taken oral contraceptives.

Clearly the benefits of taking oral contraceptives last well beyond a woman’s reproductive years. However, as the American Cancer Society notes, taking birth control pills could also slightly increase risk for breast and cervical cancer. You should discuss with your provider the risks and benefits of any birth control that you are considering and decide together which method is best for you.