Your IUD Might Lower Your Risk For Cancer In This Surprising Way
Women have become obsessed with IUDs lately, and with good reason. The birth control method is pretty foolproof and a lot less hassle than having to remember to take a pill every day. Now, new research has found there’s an added benefit to IUDs: They may lower your risk of cervical cancer.
That’s the major takeaway from a new scientific review published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. For the study, researchers analysed data on IUDs and cervical cancer from 16 observational studies involving more than 12,000 women around the world. The researchers discovered that women who used an IUD had their cervical cancer risk lowered by a third.
Cervical cancer is often caused by the human papilloma virus, which is widespread. There’s no clear answer to why the link between IUDs and a decreased risk of cervical cancer exists, but there are theories. The main one is that the IUD somehow stimulates an immune response that can help clear persistent HPV infections that would otherwise progress to cancer, says lead study author Dr. Victoria Cortessis, an associate professor of clinical preventive medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine.
This could be huge for women who missed the age cut-off for the HPV vaccine but want to do what they can to lower their risk of developing cervical cancer.
It’s too soon for the researchers to definitively say that doctors should recommend IUDs as a way to lower your cervical cancer risk, but the link is definitely there. So, if you’ve been waffling on whether to get an IUD as a birth-control method, this is one more thing to add to your “pro” list.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com