Oral Contraceptives and Ovarian Cancer

Oral Contraceptives and  Ovarian Cancer

Fall in Ovarian cancer deaths worldwide linked to the usage of contraceptive pills

What are contraceptive pills?

Contraceptive pills are counted to be an effective measure for birth control. It aids in preventing pregnancy when taken orally. These pills are claimed to be 99.99% effective. The pills, however, does not render protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

Also known as birth control pills, these medicines are believed to be a combination of progestogen and estrogen. These pills are known to inhibit the fertility of females. The United States approved these pills in the year of 1960. They have become one of the most popular options for controlling birth.

How Does Hormonal Contraception Work?

The egg which is released from the ovary of a woman gets fertilized by the sperm of a man, resulting in pregnancy. The fertilized egg gets attached to the uterus where it procures nutrition for the development of the baby. Hormones released in the body of a woman aids in controlling the release of the egg from an ovary. The eggs prepare the body for accepting the fertilized egg.

The contraceptive pills consist of a smaller amount of progestin hormones and man-made estrogen. These hormones aid in inhibiting the natural cyclical hormones of the body of a woman with an eye to preventing pregnancy.

These pills also help the prevention of ovulation in a woman. These pills are responsible for bringing a change in the cervical mucus and the sperm is not able to go through the cervix for finding the egg. These pills also change the lining of the womb and hence the fertilized egg cannot be implanted.

The contraceptive pills help in extending the cycle. These pills also lead to the reduction of menstrual periods from 13 to just four in a year. Thue people in taking these pills will be menstruating only once in a season.

Benefits of taking contraceptive pills

  • It aids in the treatment of endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when the uterine tissues move out of the uterus and attach themselves to the fallopian tubes, ovaries and other parts of the pelvic cavity. They can impede fertilization in accordance with the location and severity of tissue buildups.

In taking these pills reduce the growth, slowing, stopping, shedding of uterine tissue. Thus women suffering from endometriosis can wait for a longer time to get conceived as the damage in the reproductive system gets reduced.

  • It can help with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

Women having Polycystic Ovary Syndrome suffers from hormonal imbalance. It is responsible for obesity, erratic periods, infertility issues, excess hair on face, ovarian cysts, etc. The various combination of hormones in the pills helps in treating the imbalance. Hence, a regular flow in maintained. The side effects are also subsided with the use of these contraceptive pills.

  • It helps in easing cramps

Prostaglandins are chemicals which trigger the contractions of muscles and are responsible for monthly pain during periods. As the menstrual flow starts, the body initiates the production of prostaglandin which helps in shedding the lining of the uterus.

Oral contraceptive pills play an indispensable role in reducing the number of  prostaglandins, pumped by the body. Thus, the body experiences no or lesser pain during the periods.

  • It helps in smoothing out the skin

The in the taking of contraceptive pills helps in lowering the testosterone level of the body in women. Testosterone is the hormone which is responsible for excessive hair growth on bodies, breakouts of acne, etc. The reduction of testosterones contributes to confer a soothing and amazing effect on the skin.

  • It renders protection from anemia

Women suffering from excessive loss of blood every month and heavy periods have higher chances of developing anemia. As women go for the contraceptive pills, they help in making the periods lighter and shorter. Thus, women lose much lesser blood. Thus, these pills render protection to women from developing anemia.

  • It helps in protecting the body against Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is counted to be a serious infection that developed in the upper reproductive tract. If it is left untreated for a longer period of time, it may lead to infertility. The progestin present in the contraceptive pills aids in making the cervical mucus much thicker. This helps in forming a roadblock which makes it difficult for the microbes causing PID to enter the cervix.

  • Regulation of menstrual periods

Most of the contraceptive pills are known to consist of 21 days of the active pills and seven days of inactive placebo pills. The active pills are known to contain hormones whereas the inactive placebo pills are devoid of them. The period starts when a woman stops taking the pills containing hormones.

A woman can take active pills for few more days and enhance the length of time between the periods. Thus, these pills are beneficial for the regulation of periods. Women in taking these pills have periods only four times in a year. thus, these pills are really helpful during social events, sports activities, final examination etc.

Usage of contraceptive pills also lowers cancer

Studies reveal that long-term use of these pills assists in combating the symptoms of menopause. There has been a considerable reduction in the death from ovarian cancer after the extensive use of these pills. The pills are capable of rendering protection to women if they are taken for five years. The death of women from ovarian cancer has reduced by 10 percent in almost 28 countries of EU between the years of 2002-2012.

In the United Kingdom, the fall of Ovarian Cancer was almost 22 percent. In Sweden and Denmark, the fall was 24 percent whereas in Hungary, the percentage dropped down by 0.6%. In the country of United States, the death rates dropped by 16 percent.

On the other hand, the rate of death from ovarian cancer was dropped by almost eight percent. In New Zealand and Australia, the rate of death were reduced by almost 12 percent.

Women experienced this protective effects of using the pills after decades. Case studies reveal that women in the United Kingdom started taking the pills in the year of 1960. The age of women died after using these pills was more than 75.

Consumption of these pills by women in the fifties help in reducing the symptoms of menopause. Some of these symptoms are inclusive of difficulty in sleeping, night sweats, hot flushes etc.

Result from studies

Professor Carlo La Vecchia from the University of Milan studied the chance of death rates in women from ovarian cancer. He said that the availability of these pills has enhanced over a period of time. This has contributed to being the difference in death between the European countries.

There was a reduction in the variation of death rates among the European countries since the year of 1990. It was due to the uniform and wide use of contraceptive pills across the continent. There are however still differences in the death rates between the countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Britain. It is due to the fact that women in these countries started taking the pills at an earlier stage.

On the other hand, in European countries of Greece, Italy and Spain, the usage of contraceptive pills started at a later stage. Thus, the medicines were lesser widespread in these countries leading to higher death rates. In the countries where the use of the pills was high and has declined now, women have started in taking them again.