Washington: Women who use intrauterine devices (IUD) are at half the risk of developing cervical cancer compared to those who do not, researchers say.
The study results are contrary to popular belief that IUD’s could be a risk factor in cervical cancer. Previous studies on possible effects of IUDs use on the development of this cancer have yielded inconsistent results, the report said.
To assess the effects of IUD use on the risk of cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the risk of developing cervical cancer, Xavier Castellsagué, researcher of Virus and Cancer research group at IDIBELL and of the Cancer Epidemiological Research Program at the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), and colleagues analysed data from ten case-control studies of cervical cancer done in eight countries, and 16 HPV prevalence surveys in women from 4 continents.
The researchers found that IUD use did not affect the risk of HPV infection, but was associated with a significantly lower risk of cervical cancer for both major cervical cancer types —reducing the likelihood of developing squamous-cell carcinoma by 44 percent and adenocarcinoma or adenosquamous carcinoma by 54 percent.
Interestingly, the length of IUD use did not significantly alter cervical cancer risk. The risk was reduced by nearly half in the first year of use and the protective effect remained significant even after 10 years of use.
The study has been published at The Lancet Oncology.