Birth Control and Cervical Cancer: Is There A Link?
People who are not ready to raise a family or don’t want to have anymore kids should practice birth control. For those who use birth control pills, you should be alarmed by a new study that shows that women who have taken it for a long time are at risk for developing cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer happens to about 15,000 Americans. Of that that number, a little over a third will die from this disease while the rest can be treated thanks to its early detection using Pap tests.
Women get cervical cancer from an infection known as the human papilloma virus or HPV through sexual intercourse. Most of the time, the body is able to fight it but researchers have discovered that more than half of the test group that has used oral contraceptives for more than 5 years are at risk of this disease.
You won’t see any symptoms during the early stages of cervical cancer. This will only be seen later on as you experience continuous vaginal discharge that may be bloody, brown, pale, pink and foul smelling. It is also possible that there is abnormal vaginal bleeding when you have a period, after intercourse or during post menopause. Another possibility could be heavier and longer lasting periods.
The researchers who conducted the study did not really explain why or how pills increase the risk of this form of cancer. It merely said it did and when other people read the findings, the only conclusion they could think of was the fact the since the women in the study were on the pill, this made them more sexually active.
There is nothing wrong with being sexually active but if you have multiple partners, there is a chance that one of them could be a carrier of this kind of sexually transmitted disease.
But there are those who disagree with the findings. Other studies have shown that the practice of birth control especially the use of pills decreases the chances of women from ever being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
To be safe, women are advised to undergo regular screenings like the Pap test. Women under the age of 30 should go to the clinic annually while those who are older should have this done every two to three years.
Birth control methods also have other risks aside from cervical cancer. These include high blood pressure, liver tumors, breast cancer.
The more common side effects that you will encounter are nausea, breakthrough bleeding or spotting, breast tenderness, mood chances, decreased sex drive, weight gain, vaginal discharge, cervical changes and gallbladder disease.
But not all birth control methods available do have side effects. Abstaining and outercourse which is the opposite of intercourse are still considered to be the most effective as the sperm never meets the egg.
For those who can’t control their urges and want to get physical, they can rely on the condom since the only possible problems could be skin irritation and if your sexual partner is allergic to the latex version.
Until private companies are able to develop a better birth control pill or device that does not have side effects or increase the risk of cancer or any other disease, these are things that both men and women have to live with when they want to get some action.