The contraceptive coil could cut the risk of cervical cancer by 30 per cent, according to a new study.
The research, conducted by the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California found that women who use intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUD) may cut the chances of getting cervical cancer by a third.
An IUD is a small, T-shaped plastic and copper device that is inserted into a woman’s womb. The IUD works by stopping the sperm and the egg surviving in the womb or fallopian tubes.
The study is the first of its kind to look at the figures from multiple studies on IUDs and cervical cancer. It involved more than 12,000 women worldwide.
According to the World Health Organisation, around 528,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide in 2012, while 266,000 women died from the disease.
Lead author of the study, Dr Victoria Cortessis, The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, said, “The pattern we found was stunning.”
“It was not subtle at all.”
“The possibility that a woman could experience some help with cancer control at the same time she is making contraception decisions could potentially be very, very impactful.”
Cortessis continued, “A staggering number of women in the developing world are on the verge of entering the age range where the risk for cervical cancer is the highest – the 30s to the 60s.”
“Even if the rate of cervical cancer remains steady, the actual number of women with cervical cancer is poised to explode.”
“IUDs could be a tool to combat this impending epidemic.”
The study’s findings come as Public Health England (PHE) is urging more women to attend life-saving smear tests.
The fresh appeal targets young women to take up the invitation of a cervical cancer test, as new figures published show a fall in the number of 25 to 29-year-old woman being tested.