There’s plenty of conflicting information out there today about birth control, and not all of it is advice worth listening to. Amid all of these confusing stories and myths, though, comes an interesting and well-documented study that links oral contraceptive use to a drop in the number of deaths caused by ovarian cancer.
According to The Guardian, academics in Italy have concluded that there’s a positive correlation between the increased use of birth control pills and a decline in deaths caused by ovarian cancer in recent years. A decline in long-term hormone replacement therapy, which has been largely replaced with birth control use to combat symptoms of menopause, also seems to be a factor.
The general consensus seems to be that the past ten years has been a game changer for birth control. More people have access, more people are taking it regularly, and more people are talking about it. Apparently, the increasingly widespread usage of oral contraceptives has had more positive results than just a reduction in unplanned pregnancies.
In the European Union, deaths from ovarian cancer fell about 10 percent overall between 2002 and 2012, according to the Italian study.
That’s the average for all 28 countries in the EU. Scientists and researchers involved in the study believe that the widespread availability of birth control is what led to the drop in deaths, which fell by as much as 24 percent in countries like Sweden. Variances in the percentage decreases between countries are likely caused by differences in insurance, ease of access, and a few other factors, but overall the statistics definitely show a promising pattern.
Women who were most directly affected fell in the 20 to 49 age range, though older women have also experienced lower rates of death caused by ovarian cancer in recent years. Now, the scientists and researchers involved in the study hope to continue their work to pinpoint exactly why an increase in birth control use has had this effect.
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