A Twofer for Your Lady Parts

IUDs May Reduce Risk of Cervical Cancer in Addition to Preventing Pregnancy

A new study has shown that intrauterine devices (IUDs) may pull double duty as both birth control and a tool to prevent the development of cervical cancer, as caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. It’s like Alien vs. Predator happening in your lady parts.  

Researchers looked at controlled studies of cervical cancers across eight countries as well as HPV surveys conducted on women across four continents. They found that while IUDs did not affect the rate of HPV infection, they did lower the risk of developing cervical cancer. The risk of developing the two main forms of cervical cancer, squamous-cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, were cut by 44 percent and 54 percent, respectively. Considering the fact that HPV infection is catching on at zombie rate, it’s nice to know that there’s a way to reduce its path of destruction.

Researchers suggested that the process of removing or inserting the intrauterine device may destroy potentially cancerous lesions or that these processes may trigger long lasting immune responses that reduce the likelihood of HPV advancing into cervical cancer in the first place. Well that’s something positive to keep in mind as the doctor implants semi-permanent metal through your vagina. 

The duration of IUD use did not have a major affect on cervical cancer risk; one year of use was enough to reduce the risk by almost 50 percent. Even after ten years of IUD use, those women were still benefiting from decreased risk of developing cervical cancer. 

The IUD has been the redheaded stepchild of contraception for a long time now.  But, take that pills--this mini jungle gym in our uterus is helping save lives.  


Source: IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (2011). IUD reduces the risk of cervical cancer, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2011/09/110913103100.htm
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