IUDs Offer Protection Against Cervical Cancer

Dr. Jolene BrightenPublished: Last Reviewed: Wellbeing Leave a Comment

New research has shown that IUDs offer protection against cervical cancer.

IUDs Offer Protection Against Cervical Cancer

Intrauterine devices or IUDs are a form of birth control that may be beneficial in reducing cervical cancer by 45 percent when compared to women who have never used one, a large literature review has found.

The review, published in the Lancet Oncology, explains that the benefits can be detected within the first year and effects may remain for up to 10 years.

Women utilizing IUDs were equally as likely to be infected with human pappilomavirus (HPV), the most common cause of cervical cancer, as those women without the contraceptive. HPV is also the most common sexually transmitted infection. You can read more about HPV here. 

How Can IUDs Offer Protection Against Cervical Cancer?

One possible explanation for the decrease in cervical cancer is immune cell stimulation. It is thought that these cells may be stimulated by the IUD to become active against HPV and prevent the virus from causing cancer to the cervix.

HPV is still one of the greatest risk factors for developing cervical cancer. IUDs do not protect against HPV infection. Women should speak with their health care practitioner about regular screening exams for both HPV and cervical cancer.

IUD Side Effects

It's important to note that IUDs are not without their own side effects. You can read about IUD side effects here. It is important to discuss with your doctor your individual risk factors to decide if an IUD is right for you.

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About The Author

Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten, NMD, is a women’s hormone expert and prominent leader in women’s medicine. As a licensed naturopathic physician who is board certified in naturopathic endocrinology, she takes an integrative approach in her clinical practice. A fierce patient advocate and completely dedicated to uncovering the root cause of hormonal imbalances, Dr. Brighten empowers women worldwide to take control of their health and their hormones. She is the best selling author of Beyond the Pill and Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth. Dr. Brighten is an international speaker, clinical educator, medical advisor within the tech community, and considered a leading authority on women’s health. She is a member of the MindBodyGreen Collective and a faculty member for the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine. Her work has been featured in the New York Post, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Bustle, The Guardian, Sports Illustrated, Elle, and ABC News. Read more about me here.