Even if you don’t give much thought about your endometrial lining, it continues doing its work, i.e. your periods. As time passes and your menstruation cycle continues you are more at risk of developing different types of female reproductive cancers.
One way of stopping these cycle would be to get pregnant and decrease their risk but what if you are not ready to have a baby? There is an another way you can stop the menstrual cycle and lessen these risks- you can take birth control pills.
Oral birth control like the Loette contraceptive pills have been consistently found to have properties that reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer.
How do hormonal oral contraceptives affect the ovarian cancer risk?
According to an analysis of more than 20 studies, researchers found that the longer the women used birth control, more the risk of ovarian cancer decreases. According to these studies, the risk reduced by 10% to 12% after one year of usage and by approximately 50% after 5 years of usage.
Furthermore, studies researched the level or type of hormones in birth control pills does not affects ovarian cancer risk. One research in particular found that the decreased risk of ovarian cancer was the same regardless the amount of type of estrogen and progestin in the pill.
A more recent analysis of the study however states that contraceptive formulations with higher levels of progestin associated with reduced risk of cancer compare to low levels of progestin.
Another study analyzed new lower-dosage progestin that have varying androgenic effects [ testosterone line effects]. As a result, they found no difference in the level of cancer risk between the non-androgenic and androgenic contraceptives.
How do hormonal oral contraceptives affect the endometrial cancer risk?
Similar to ovarian cancer risk, women using birth control pills have shown reduced risk of endometrial cancer. This protection increases with the length of time as long as oral contraceptives usage and continues for many years even after the woman stops taking birth control pills.
A study analyzing contraception usage in high income countries from 1965-2014, indicated that combined hormonal oral contraceptives such as Ovral, have prevented about 400,000 cases of endometrium cancer. A new meta-analysis also stated that birth control pills lessen the risk of developing endometrium cancer, especially if used for more than five years.
Moreover, a study revealed that the composition of the pill- i.e. the level of estrogen and progestin in the tablet did not have any effect on the level of risk. This was despite the fact that contraceptive tablets used to contain double amount of estrogen and progestin in the 60’s compared to the current versions.
Benefits of using birth control
- Other than reducing the risk of ovarian/endometrial cancer, it is prudent to use contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Since pregnancy termination- whether by abortion pills or surgery is a difficult to go through for many, it is better to prevent it from happening altogether.
- It prevents PCOS
- Regularizes menstrual cycle
- Is effective in decreasing acne and other skin conditions