April 22, 2018

IUDs Might Significantly Reduce the Cervical Cancer Risk

09 November 2017, 10:36 | Lena Norman

IUDs cut risk of cervical cancer by one-third study

IUDs cut risk of cervical cancer by one-third study

"At this point we can only hypothesize about how an IUD might decrease cervical cancer risk", said lead study author Victoria Cortessis of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. It was published in the peer-reviewed journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Cervical cancer kills about 270,000 women per year and infects more than 528,000, according to the World Health Organizsation (WHO). "It looks real. It smells real, but to be really convinced, we need to go back and do studies to find a mechanism". While The Guardian correctly reported that more research is needed to understand how IUDs work to protect against cancer, the Mail Online said "very strong evidence" was found that the IUD coil protects against cervical cancer and that the analysis "could not find any other reason" for this association.

But Lichtenfeld was concerned that some of the larger studies included in the analysis dated back to the 1980s and 1990s, when IUDs were being prescribed in the United States to a more select group of women.

Cortessis and her colleagues suspected that the IUD might influence risk of cervical cancer because it prevents pregnancy through manipulation of the female immune system.

"A staggering number of women in the developing world are on the verge of entering the age range where the risk for cervical cancer is the highest - the 30s to the 60s", she revealed in the report.

The systematic review, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology on November 7, is the first to combine data from multiple studies on IUDs and cervical cancer.

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"Would I recommend an IUD exclusively for cervical cancer prevention?".

However, Dr Pradeep Tanwar, who investigates gynaecological cancers, said the study was limiting.

"[The study] is unlikely to change clinical practice and women's opinions regarding IUD". This means they can not yet tell what keeps the cancer risk away. The protective effect did not appear to be due to confounding by risk factors or publication bias, according to the authors.

For women in developing countries, where cervical cancer prevention resources such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine or regular cervical screenings are scarce, and where populations are increasing rapidly, a contraceptive that offers protection against cervical cancer could have a profound effect, Cortessis explains. Omitting age at fitting is also problematic because the World Health Organization has found that age is a highly influential factor in HPV prevalence: the earlier a woman has the coil fitted, the greater the protection against HPV infection she may get. "It's an effective, safe, and long-term contraception, which can also control irregular and heavy bleeding".

Also no, your partner will not feel it during sex and on the off-chance, they do you can get the strings cut.

"It raises the need for further research to be done to see if that is in fact the case", said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.

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