The contraceptive pill could prevent women from certain types of cancer for as long as 30 years, according to a new study.
The research, conducted by the University of Aberdeen, found that women who have taken the pill are less likely to have ovarian cancer, bowel cancer and endometrial cancer.
It found that taking the pill for any length of time lowered the cases of bowel cancer by 19 per cent, endometrial cancer by 34 per cent and ovarian cancer by 33 per cent.
The study also found that, although there is a slight risk of cervical and breast cancer, it is only temporary and the dangers vanish after stopping the pill for a few years.
The study is the latest published from the Oral Contraception Study, which was established by the Royal College of General Practitioners in 1968 to explore the effects of taking the contraceptive pill.
The research studied 46,000 women for up to 44 years, making it the longest study to have ever been carried out into the health risks of the pill.
Dr Lisa Iversen, who led the study, said: “What we found from looking at up to 44 years’ worth of data, was that having ever used the pill, women are less likely to get colorectal, endometrial and ovarian cancer.
“So, the protective benefits from using the pill during their reproductive years are lasting for at least 30 years after women have stopped using the pill.
“We were also interested in what the overall balance of all types of cancer is amongst women who have used the pill as they enter the later stages of their life.
“We did not find any evidence of new cancer risks appearing later in life as women get older.”
“These results from the longest-running study in the world into oral contraceptive use are reassuring.
“Specifically, pill users don’t have an overall increased risk of cancer over their lifetime and that the protective effects of some specific cancers last for at least 30 years.”