IUDs May Have A Surprising Added Health Benefit

Women who have used an IUD may have a 30% lower risk of invasive cervical cancer than women who have not.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a safe and long-acting way to prevent pregnancy — but new evidence shows that they may also lower the risk of cervical cancer.

The findings are from a new report published this week in Obstetrics & Gynecology in which researchers analyzed IUDs and cervical cancer risk in over 12,000 women worldwide.

The research suggests that invasive cervical cancer may be approximately one-third (30%) less frequent in women who have used the IUD compared with women who have not.

Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women worldwide — and rates are steadily growing, mostly in developing countries.

"The possibility that a woman can choose a contraceptive method that also offers some protection against cervical cancer could be very impactful," Cortessis says.

Does this mean you should get an IUD to protect against cervical cancer? Nope.

Right now, the best way to protect yourself against cervical cancer is to get the HPV vaccine before you're sexually active and do regular screenings.