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Oral Contraceptives Linked to Decline in Ovarian Cancer Mortality Rates

By HERWriter
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Oral Contraception Linked to Decline in Ovarian Cancer Mortality Rates areeya_ann/Fotolia

Good news for those of us that take birth control! Annals of Oncology recently published a study linking the decline in ovarian cancer mortality rates to the use of oral contraceptives. In the United States, rates were down 15.8 percent, while in the European Union they were down 9.9 percent, and in Canada they were down 8.7 percent.

The study looked at mortality rate change from 2002 to 2012, or as far as recent data allowed. Of the countries studied, most showed a decline with the exceptions of Bulgaria, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and the Republic of Korea.

The researchers note the higher rates of decline in the United States and European Union countries, as tied into the earlier introduction of oral contraceptives. Estonia had the largest decline, with a -28.7 percent change, followed by Denmark at -24.6 percent and then Sweden at -23.5 percent.

The pill was first approved by the FDA in 1957 for severe menstrual disorders, according to PBS, but ultimately for contraceptive use in 1960.

In regards to its use as birth control, the pill was controversial at first. It went through some changes. The new pill released in 1988 had several health benefits, including a decreased risk of ovarian cancer.

Learn more about the study here, and if you decide to take birth control, make sure to consult a doctor first.

Reviewed September 8, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
Read more in Being HER

1) Global trends and predictions in ovarian cancer mortality. Annals of Oncology. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
2) A brief history of the birth control pill. PBS. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 


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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.