Birth Control Device Diminishes Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer risk is lessened when a woman has used an IUD for birth control

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The country has come a long way in its attitudes concerning sexually-transmitted diseases. Recall the outrage at the recommendation of condom use to avoid transmission of HIV. Now, most embrace the idea of proactive measures to curb the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases.

The makers of Gardasil, Cervarix and the Federal Drug Administration recommend early, pre-sexual life vaccination for HPV in girls to prevent contracting human papillomavirus (HPV). This disease can lead to cervical cancer

A new study indicates that an intrauterine device (IUD) significantly lower the risk of both major cervical cancers: Reducing the risk of squamous-cell cervical cancer by 44 percent and adenosquamous carcinoma by 54 percent.

"Ask your OB/GYN if an IUD is a good choice for you."

The researchers report that their study findings suggest that IUD use might affect the likelihood of HPV progression to cervical cancer but does not prevent HPV infection.

They suggest a number of possible explanations for the protective effect of IUDs including that the process of device insertion or removal destroys precancerous lesions or that it induces chronic mucosal inflammation and a long lasting immune response, thereby reducing the likelihood of HPV progression.

Xavier Castellsagué, researcher of Virus and Cancer research group at IDIBELL and of the Cancer Epidemiological Research Program at the Catalan Institute of Oncology and colleagues analyzed data derived from 10 case studies of cervical cancer to determine the effects an IUD may have on the risk of HPV and its progression to cancer.

This study is published in The Lancet Oncology.

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Review Date: 
September 13, 2011
Last Updated:
September 13, 2011