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Contraception : Noncontraceptive benefits

Non-contraceptive benefits of birth control pills are also important to recognize. In women who are sexually active, there is a decreased relative risk of pelvic inflammatory disease with birth control pill use. Multiple studies confirm this finding, and it is thought to be related to the thickened cervical mucous secretions which serve as a protective barrier to ascending infections.

Additionally, the risk of ovarian cancer is reduced by approximately 40% by multiple studies.
Risk of Ovarian Cancer Reduced risk of Ovarian Cancer.
Credits: CDC JAMA 1983

The risk reduction is hypothesized to be related to decreased trauma to the ovarian surface or to reduction in gonadotropin stimulation. These hypotheses are unproven.

With regard to the development of endometrial cancer, once again birth control pill use significantly decreases the development of endometrial cancer. When given with estrogens, progestins decrease the actions of estrogen by reducing the number of estrogen receptors. The reduction of estrogen receptors decreases the risk of this estrogen-dependent cancer.
Risk of Endometrial Cancer Reduced risk of Endometrial Cancer.
Credits: CDC Jama 1983

The use of low-dose birth control pills up to the age of 45 in women who do not smoke is now considered safe.

Contraception for Women Contraception for Women in Their Later Reproductive Years.
Credits: From "Contraception for Women in their Later Reproductive Years" ACOG Committee Opinion, Committee of Gynecological Practice. Number 41, December 1995, Revised March 1988

Hopefully, this basic understanding of the actions of the combination birth control pill will provide you with a basis for evaluating other forms of contraception and enable you to appropriately inform patients of their risks and benefits.