IUDs for Birth Control Reduce Ovarian Cancer Risk

Women who use intrauterine devices (IUDs) for birth control have a reduced risk of ovarian cancer, according to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The researchers conducted a literature review of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science Core Collection to identify studies published through June 2018. They selected case-control and cohort studies that collected individual level data on IUD use and ovarian cancer diagnosis. A total of eight studies were included in the meta-analysis; case reports and reviews were excluded.

IUD use reduces ovarian cancer risk

Overall, women who used IUDs were 32% less likely than other women to develop ovarian cancer. Harmonization and weighting of the data revealed an odds ratio association between ever use of an IUD and incident ovarian cancer to be 0.68 (95% CI, 0.62-0.75). Heterogeneity among the included studies was 68%.

“If a woman has a higher risk based on family history or other risk factors to develop ovarian cancer, then she might be a candidate for an IUD,” said senior study author Saketh Guntupalli, MD, director of gynecologic oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora. “Other ways women can reduce their risk include weight loss, routine visits to their OB/GYN, and adopting a non-sedentary lifestyle.”