Contraceptive pills have long been believed to cause women different health problems. However, a new study
(take note, it’s the longest-running study of its kind in the world) found that it can actually protect women against some cancers for more than 35 years after they stop taking it.
This Oral Contraception Study was started by the Royal College of General Practitioners
in 1968 on which 46,000 women were monitored for the long-term impact. Now, after 44 years, the University of Aberdeen team found that this combined pills have strong preventative effect on bowel cancer, endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer. Specifically, those who took the pill
for any length of time were less likely to have bowel cancer by 19 per cent, endometrial cancer by 34 per cent and ovarian cancer by 33 per cent.
“These results from the longest-running study in the world into oral contraceptive use are reassuring,” said lead author Dr Lisa Iversen. “They provide strong evidence that most women do not expose themselves to long-term cancer harm if they choose to use oral contraception; indeed, many are likely to be protected."
However, there was also a slight increase in risks for breast and cervical cancer. This, though, was found to be only a temporary rise and that such danger disappeared after 5 years of stopping contraception.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said, “This is not to advocate that women should be given the pill as a preventative measure against cancer as we know that a minority of women do have adverse health effects as a result of taking the pill.
“Ultimately decisions to prescribe the pill need to be made on a patient by patient basis, but this research will be useful to inform the conversations we have with our patients when discussing various contraceptive options that are available.”