IUDs may prevent cervical cancer risk

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You may be wondering how women get cervical cancer in the first place.

According to ScienceDaily, cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women worldwide.

"The results of our study are very exciting". Researchers have not established with certainty why the intra-uterine device reduces the risk of tumour of the cervix of the uterus. "Cervical cancer protection would be more icing on the cake of a great contraceptive choice".

Access to preventative services such as cervical cancer screenings and the HPV vaccine is driving down rates of the cancer in some parts of the world, but rates are rising in others, according to the review.

Where did the story come from?

It was supported by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Southern California, and a National Cancer Institute grant.

The report was published online November 7 in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The review prompted different headlines in the media. Of those who died, 90 percent were from low and middle income countries.

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What kind of research was this?

The incidence of cancer of the cervix is increasing in the world.

Cortessis agreed that confounding variables are a limitation of the meta-analysis.

Confounding variables - or factors that the researcher can't control for - have always been a worry in research on IUDs and cervical cancer, Franco told Live Science. "It looks real. It smells real, but to be really convinced, we need to go back and do studies to find a mechanism".

She added: "A staggering number of women in the developing world are on the verge of entering the age range where the risk for cervical cancer is the highest - the 30s to the 60s".

Researchers think IUDs might promote an immune response that kills off human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer.

What did the research involve?

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Although side effects are rarely life-threatening, they can substantially impact a woman's quality of life. This is a type fuelled by the hormone oestrogen which can stimulate cancer cells to grow and divide.

However, Dr Pradeep Tanwar, who investigates gynaecological cancers, said the study was limiting.

Women who had used an IUD were 36% less likely to develop cervical cancer (odds ratio 0.64, 95% confidence interval 0.53 to 0.77).

How did the researchers interpret the results?

CBS News reported yesterday that the IUD may "reduce a woman's risk of cervical cancer by about a third". Also, women who were sexually active before the vaccine was publically available. If this infection is gone, then the cervical cancer chances also get smaller. This means they can not yet tell what keeps the cancer risk away. "In fact, use may provide an important protective effect".

The IUD is more 99% effective against pregnancy, but do not protect you against STIs so if you want protection against pregnancy as STIs you still have to use condoms. Numerous studies, for example, did not include HIV status or family history of cervical cancer, both of which raise the risk of cervical cancer.

The ParaGuard also works as an emergency birth control if inserted within 5 days after unprotected sex it is 99.9% effective. It's advised that you have the HPV vaccine if offered it and attend screening appointments when invited.

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