Study: IUD Cuts Risk Of Cervical Cancer In Half

The IUD may offer protection against cervical cancer

IUD’s have gotten a bad rap over the years, due to their checkered history (see: Dalkon Shield) and the fact that many women don’t want a medical device implanted their bodies if they can avoid it. But as my CommonHealth colleague Carey Goldberg has written, a newer, safer version of the IUD is currently enjoying a mini-renaissance.

Now there’s another excellent reason to consider (or reconsider) the IUD for birth control: In a study involving more than 20,000 women from different countries, researchers report that the IUD may offer protection against cervical cancer. Interestingly, they suggest that the annoying process of inserting and removing the device might be the very thing that destroys precancerous lesions or triggers a protective immune response. The study was published in The Lancet Oncology.

Here’s more from the press release:

The results show that women who uses IUD halved the risk of developing cervical cancer compared to those that had not ever used [the device]. These results are contrary to popular belief that IUD could be a risk factor of cervical cancer. Previous studies on possible effects of IUDs use on the development of this cancer have yielded inconsistent results…

IUD use did not affect the risk of HPV infection, but was associated with a significantly lower risk of cervical cancer for both major cervical cancer types —reducing the likelihood of developing squamous-cell carcinoma by 44% and adenocarcinoma or adenosquamous carcinoma by 54%. Continue reading