A new study has found that women who take the contraceptive pill are protected from some cancers.
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen collected data from 46,000 women over 44 years to look at the long-term health effects of oral contraceptives.
Data revealed the risk of developing bowel, endometrial and ovarian cancer was lower in women who took the contraceptive pill during their reproductive years compared to women who had never taken it.
“Because the study has been going for such a long time we are able to look at the very long-term effects, if there are any, associated with the pill,” says lead study researcher Dr. Lisa Iversen.
“What we found from looking at up to 44 years’ worth of data was that having ever used the pill, women are less likely to get colorectal, endometrial and ovarian cancer.
“So, the protective benefits from using the pill during their reproductive years are lasting for at least 30 years after women have stopped using the pill.”
Dr. Iversen says the study, which was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, also looked at the “overall balance of all types of cancer amongst women who have used the pill as they entered the later stages of their life.”
“We did not find any evidence of new cancer risks appearing later in life as women get older,” she adds.
“These results from the longest-running study in the world into oral contraceptive use are reassuring.
“Specifically, pill users don’t have an overall increased risk of cancer over their lifetime and that the protective effects of some specific cancers last for at least 30 years.”
This comes after a review into the risk of blood clots and the pill has led to fresh safety advice for women taking combined oral contraceptives.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) reviewed the risk of thromboembolic disorders, or blood clot disorders, for women taking a combined hormonal contraceptive (CHC) containing ethinyloestradiol and a progestogen.
Researchers found that there is an increased risk of blood clots for women using the CHCs that are currently available in Australia. For more on this story, click here.
Meanwhile, check out the eight forms of contraception to consider after you’ve had a baby.