New research from the University of Oxford has revealed the contraceptive pill to have helped in the prevention of womb cancer in 200,000 cases in the last decade alone.
The contraceptive pill is one of the most commonly used methods of contraception in the western world today, with one-third of women in the UK aged 16-49 thought to be using it. Referred to colloquially as ‘the pill’, it was developed in the 1960’s and was seen as one of the most important developments for women and their sexual liberation.
In the fifty years that it has been available there have been many positives and negatives to the pill from its effectiveness in reducing period pain and the simplicity of it, to complaints of weight gain and migraines.
New research findings
This new research reveals another positive side to this method of contraception. Researchers found that for every five years a woman takes the pill her risk of developing womb cancer decreases by around 25%.
The Lancet Oncology journal published the study with the findings showing that in women who have taken the pill for a decade the rate of womb cancer fell to 1.3 in 100 from 2.3. The researchers pooled data from 36 studies that comprised a total of 27,276 women with endometrial cancer (cases) and 115,743 without (controls). They found that the amount of hormones in the pill taken, the levels of oestrogen varied from those who had taken it during the 1960’s and 1980’s, had no effect and that this reduction in the risk of developing womb cancer could last for up to 30 years after stopping taking the pill.
Another reason to choose the pill?
Lead author of the study, Professor Valerie Beral, has said;
“people used to worry that the Pill might cause cancer, but in the long term, the Pill reduces the risk of cancer”.
This only adds to the research in 2008 where it was discovered that taking the pill regularly for 15 years could reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by half.
Would you consider taking the pill because of this new research? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!