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If you have been thinking about talking to your doctor about using birth control pills to practice safe sex or to balance your hormones, you should consider talking to your doctor about another benefit that birth control pills can potentially provide: a reduced cancer risk.

Continue reading to learn more about this birth control pill use benefit to determine if this is the right route for you to take for your sexual health.

Hormones and Cancer Risk

Even though birth control pills have been found to increase the risk of certain cancers, there are also many cases in which the use of birth control could help to reduce your risk of cancer. This is because oral contraceptives have man-made progesterone and estrogen, which are the female sex hormones. Taking birth control will affect your natural hormone levels, so in some cases, this could prevent certain female cancers while increasing the risk of other female cancers.

Reduced Endometrial and Ovarian Cancer Risks

Researchers have found that a new birth control pill use benefit involves a reduction of the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. This is likely the result of birth control causing a woman’s body to ovulate fewer times during the year. Basically, the more times your body ovulates over the course of your lifetime, the more hormones you will be exposed to, and that could increase your risk of these cancers.

Also, the longer you are on birth control, the greater the benefits will be. If you take a birth control pill for five or more years, you could cut down your ovarian cancer risk by half, and that protection could potentially last for up to 25 years even after you have stopped taking the pill. On top of that, studies are also suggesting that birth control pills might protect women against the development of ovarian cancer if they have BRCA genetic mutations. And when it comes to endometrial cancer risk, you can also cut it in half if you are on the pill for a minimum of four years and you are at an average risk for the disease. This protection will last for a decade after you have stopped taking birth control pills.

To know whether the birth control pill use benefit of reduced cancer risk is worth it, talk to your doctor. He or she will be able to steer you in the right direction after discussing the pros and cons of birth control.