TORONTO – Taking hormonal contraception for several years is not be without consequences for your health. According to the results of a recent study, pill, IUD, injectable progestins, all increase the risk of breast cancer.
The invention and then the commercialization of the pill revolutionized the lives of millions of women around the world. But, if the benefits are no longer to defend, the question arises all the same of its consequences on health, still unknown after so “few years” of decline.
Hormonal contraception and breast cancer?
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine , women who take hormonal contraception are more likely to develop breast cancer than women who have never taken it.
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen followed 1.8 million Danes aged 15 to 49 years. They analyzed their records for an average of 11 years. Over this long period, researchers identified 11,517 breast cancers on the total number of women followed.
The researchers looked at all forms of hormonal contraception : both 3rd and 4th generation pills, intrauterine devices such as the IUD , and injectable progestins under skin.
Those who take a form of hormonal contraception have a slightly higher risk than others of breast cancer. Of the 100,000 women who take hormonal contraception, 68 have developed breast cancer, which is 13 more than women who do not take hormonal contraception.
The duration of contraception has an impact
According to the results obtained, the duration of taking hormones has an influence on the risk of breast cancer. The oldest women are the most affected, those who have taken this hormonal contraception for the most years.
Beyond 10 years of hormone use, the risk of breast cancer increases from 26 to 51%. For the IUD, it’s a bit lower: from 11 to 33%.
It is not enough to stop the pill, or others, so that the risk decreases. Those who took hormonal contraception daily for at least 5 years are still more likely to be affected by breast cancer.
The real risks of breast cancer is moderate
However, we must be vigilant with these results. Because on the one hand, the proportion of women impacted is minimal.
And secondly, it should also take into account previous studies that advanced hormonal contraception would limit the risk of cancer of the ovaries and the uterus.
Nancy Miller (MD) has over 20 years experience as a educator and health practitioner. She has a B.S. from Lake Head University In Thunder Bay, and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Guelph . Dr. Miller has worked as a special medical consultant for a major insurance provider before becoming a freelance health author and public speaker. There are several ways to contact Dr. Miller here.