Your IUD Can Also Prevent Cervical Cancer, Study Shows

Your IUD Can Also Prevent Cervical Cancer, Study Shows

What once began as a great contraceptive option for women
who didn’t want the responsibility of taking a tiny pill every day, Houston Ob/GYN Wynne
Duncan, MD, says IUDs are now the most commonly used form of reversible birth
control around the world. And according to a recent meta-analysis published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, its list of
noncontraceptive benefits is about to get longer: Your IUD can also decrease
your risk of cervical cancer.

The meta-analysis of data discovered in 16 previous studies (including
more than 12,000 women worldwide) led researchers to find a 30-percent decrease
in cervical cancer in women who had ever used an IUD. “This is a hugely promising
finding, especially for older, unvaccinated women and those in low-resource
settings,” Dr. Duncan says, adding that cervical cancer is the third most common malignancy
among women. “Rates are expected to significantly increase.”

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Luckily, researchers are confident IUDs drop the risk of
cervical cancer—lead author Victoria Cortessis, PhD, describes the pattern they
found as “stunning” and “not subtle at all” in a press release—but they have
yet to nail down the exact reason why. “Authors theorize IUDs may elicit an
immune response by the body to fight off HPV,” adds Dr. Duncan. Another
theory says the removal of an IUD can scrape off precancerous or
HPV-infected cells.

“If we can demonstrate that the body mounts an immune
response to having an IUD placed, for example, then we could begin
investigating whether an IUD can clear a persistent HPV infection in a clinical
trial,” says gynecologic oncologist and study coauthor Laila Muderspach,
MD, in the release. “The results of our study are very exciting. There is
tremendous potential.” Dr. Duncan agrees, stating that while more research is obviously
needed, “this is an encouraging start.”

By | 2017-11-13T22:32:19+00:00 November 13th, 2017|Categories: Plastic Surgery|0 Comments

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