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The New No-Period, No-PMS Birth Control Pills

Are new continuous birth control pills right for you?
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What’s the Breast Cancer Risk From Birth Control Pills? continued...

While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been linked to a slight increased risk of breast cancer, the hormones used in birth control pills are different. "These are different estrogens and progestins than are used in HRT, explains Ross. “They have been studied since the 1960s, and good data suggests what's good and not good about them. Breast cancer has never been one of the concerns with birth control pills."

Also, there is no increased risk to the uterus or uterine lining (the endometrium), he says.

In fact, taking birth control pills has health advantages, Ross points out. There is evidence that birth control pills protect against cancers of the ovary and uterus, as well as against pelvic inflammatory disease and iron-deficiency anemia. The combination pill can reduce acne, the risk of an ectopic pregnancy, noncancerous breast cysts, and ovarian cysts. 

"People don't talk enough about the decreased risk of ovarian and uterine cancers, decreased acne, decreased formation of ovarian cysts," says Ross.

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Reviewed on April 13, 2009
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