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Can Birth Control Cause Cancer? - 2 Interesting Theories

January 20, 2023
Est. Reading: 3 minutes

Birth control, also known as contraception, uses various methods and devices to prevent pregnancy. In the United States alone, birth control is used by 65% of women between the ages of 15-44. It is an important family planning tool that helps individuals responsibly plan their lives and families. Birth control can help reduce unintended pregnancies and therefore reduce abortion rates. But can birth control cause cancer?

There are many types of birth control available today. Some are hormonal, while others are non-hormonal. Hormonal birth control includes birth control pills, patches, rings, and injections, while physical birth controls include condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps. Each type has its risks and benefits, so it's important to discuss all the options with your healthcare provider before making a choice.

Can Birth Control Cause Cancer?

Benefits of Birth Control

There are multiple benefits of using birth control. These include:

  • Preventing pregnancy - Birth control can help prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce abortion rates.
  • Regulating periods - Hormonal birth control can improve a woman's menstrual cycle and reduce cramping, PMS symptoms, acne, and other effects of hormones.
  • Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) – Using condoms in addition to hormonal birth control can help protect you against STIs like HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.
  • Reducing Risk of Cervical Cancer – Women who use hormonal forms of birth control for five years or longer may have a lower risk of cervical cancer due to the constant suppression of ovarian hormones.
  • Improving Skin - Hormonal birth control can help reduce acne and give you clearer skin.

Birth control can be an excellent tool for managing your reproductive health, but it's essential to consider all the risks and benefits of different types before deciding which is suitable for you. Talk to your healthcare provider about what type of birth control would be best for you. It's also essential to use condoms in addition to any hormonal forms of birth control to further reduce your risk of STIs. With the proper precautions, birth control can be highly effective in helping individuals manage their reproductive health.

Can Birth Control Cause Cancer?

Side Effects of Birth Control

Though birth control has many benefits, it is essential to know that contraception can cause side effects. Side effects of hormonal contraception include nausea, headaches, breast tenderness, irregular bleeding and spotting between periods, weight gain, mood changes such as depression or anxiety, decreased libido, yeast infections, and acne.

If any of these side effects become intolerable or the individual experiences other concerning symptoms while taking birth control, they should consult their healthcare provider immediately.

Hormonal birth control also increases the risk for specific medical conditions, including blood clots in the legs or lungs. In rare cases, this can be fatal, so it is essential to understand all the risks associated with different types of contraception before deciding which one is right for you. Another questionable topic is: does birth control cause cancer?

Birth Control and Breast Cancer

Many people in the world use birth control for various reasons. But an important question for many is, "can birth control cause cancer?". There are two possible links:

Can Birth Control Cause Cancer?

  • Numerous studies have examined the link between birth control and breast cancer. For many years, birth control was thought to increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer; however, more recent studies suggest there may be no increased risk. Some studies suggest that birth control pills may even reduce the risk of developing certain types of breast cancer.
  • However, other studies have found a slightly elevated risk for confident women who use certain forms of birth control for five years or more. It is important to note that these increased risks are small overall – meaning the absolute increase in risk is relatively low – so weigh your risks against the benefits before determining if hormonal birth control is proper for you. 

It is also important to note that any positive or negative effects of birth control on a woman's risk of breast cancer are limited to the time she uses it and do not continue after discontinuing use.

The bottom line is that more research needs to be done before we can draw any definitive conclusions about the connection between birth control and breast cancer. However, discussing any concerns, you may have with your healthcare provider is essential so they can help you make an informed decision about which birth control is proper for you.

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