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Does the contraceptive pill protect against ovarian cancer?

22 March 2017

Contraceptive Pill

According to new research from The University of Aberdeen, women who have taken the oral contraceptive pill are protected from some types of cancer for as long as thirty years.

The results showed that having ever used the pill, women are less likely to have colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer or ovarian cancer than women who had never used the pill. 

The study, which is the longest-running in the world to date, looked into the effects of taking the contraceptive pill and showed that using the pill during their reproductive years does not produce new cancer risks later in life – the time when more cancers occur.

Our Chief Executive, Katherine Taylor, said: “It has been known for some time that the pill reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and that the longer a woman uses it, the lower her risk of ovarian cancer. It also has a long term preventative effect, i.e., it continues to protect you even when you stop taking it.

“This is because the pill stops you ovulating and more periods over a woman’s lifetime puts her at greater risk. Therefore this finding is particularly important in ovarian cancer, in which other lifestyle choices can have little effect.

“While we already knew this, this new study puts a welcome the spotlight on ovarian cancer which, as we know, has little recognition and awareness in general public.” 

Read more about ovarian cancer risks here.