IUDs may protect against cervical cancer

INTRAUTERINE devices (IUDs) may protect against the development of cervical cancer, according to findings from studies covering 20,000 women.

Women with ever-use of an IUD were found to have almost half the incidence of cervical cancer compared to non-IUD users.

Strong protection was seen for squamous cell carcinoma (a 44% reduced risk), and adenocarcinoma and adenosquamous carcinoma (a 54% reduced risk), though less so in women who were HPV positive (32% reduced risk).  

The analysis took in data from two large studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and Institut Català d’Oncologia, totalling almost 20,000 women with cervical cancer, HPV and healthy controls.  

IUD use might act as a protective co-factor in cervical carcinogenesis, the study concluded, noting “cellular immunity triggered by the device” as one possible mechanism.  

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