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Home Industry News Combined and progestogen-only hormonal contraceptives possibly reduce ovarian cancer risk

Combined and progestogen-only hormonal contraceptives possibly reduce ovarian cancer risk

19th October 2018

Researchers at the Universities of Aberdeen and Copenhagen have looked at how newer combined and progestogen-only hormonal contraceptives affect ovarian cancer in women of reproductive age. Whilst they did not study older women, the study was sufficiently large scale and long enough to adjust for a range of potentially influential factors. What they found was that the combined oral contraceptives containing both lower doses of oestrogens and newer progestogens are associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer.
They analysed data of almost 1.9 million Danish women between the ages of 15 and 49 from 1995 to 2014 who were put into three categories – 1. no record of being dispensed hormonal contraception, 2. current users or previous user who had stopped up to one year ago, and 3. previous users who had stopped for more than a year. 86% of the participants had used combined oral products. Ovarian cancer cases were highest in category 1 at 7.5 per 100,000 person years. In category 2 and 3, the number of ovarian cancer cases were 3.2 per 100,000 person years. On the basis of these numbers, the researchers conclude that hormonal contraception prevented around 21% of ovarian cancers in this group of women.
The researchers said: “Based on our results, contemporary combined hormonal contraceptives are still associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women of reproductive age, with patterns similar to those seen with older combined oral products. The reduced risk seems to persist after stopping use, although the duration of benefit is uncertain. Presently, there is insufficient evidence to suggest similar protection among exclusive users of progestogen-only products.”

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