By Jon Zonderman, Laurel, M.D. Shader
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Additional info for Birth Control Pills
While this is an important finding, the more important question is whether women who are already diabetic can safely use birth control pills. Healthcare providers believe that some can, depending on the severity of their diabetes. Women who are insulin dependent (meaning they inject themselves with synthetic insulin regularly to maintain their blood sugar level) generally see their insulin requirement increase while using birth control pills. However, they are usually able to use birth control pills successfully and for a long time.
They may provide protection against ovarian cancer by reducing gonadotropin (follicle-stimulating hormone) production in the pituitary gland. Endometrial Cancer To date, only combined estrogen-progestin birth control pills have been studied for their effects on endometrial cancer. Although no studies have yet been conducted on progestinonly pills, research suggests that it is the progestin that provides protection against the rapid cell division in the endometrial tissue that leads to cancer. Both case-control studies and cohort studies have found that longer use of birth control pills provides increased protection, but that even one year’s use provides benefits long after a woman stops using 37 38 BIRTH CONTROL PILLS birth control pills.
It is very difficult to determine if this increased association can be translated into an increased risk. No firm data has shown a higher rate of progression to cancer from pre-invasive lesions among women who use birth control pills. 3 This technician is analyzing a Pap smear to detect abnormalities, such as cervical cancer. control pills to develop pre-invasive lesions and/or cervical cancer at a higher rate, although none has been proved. Birth control pills may: • Change the cervical mucus in a way that increases the risk of being infected with HPV • Alter a woman’s immune system and make her more likely to become infected with HPV • Produce a deficiency of folic acid in the cervix, which might stimulate the development of pre-invasive lesions • Speed the rate at which pre-invasive lesions change to become invasive cervical cancers • Promote cervical ectopy, which in turn promotes infection with HPV 63 64 BIRTH CONTROL PILLS Another possibility for the increased association may be what scientists call detection bias.