An Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a tiny device a woman can put into her uterus to prevent a pregnancy. It is usually a small piece of flexible plastic shaped like a T. There are usually 2 types of IUD, copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs. Both the types of IUDs prevent pregnancy by changing the way sperm cells move in the uterus so that they cannot reach the egg. Even though an IUD can last for years within a woman’s uterus, they are not permanent, so if you decide to get pregnant, you can have your doctor or nurse take it out.1
How Dangerous Is The HPV Virus?
Since HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, most HPV infections do not actually show any symptoms and resolve on their own. So most people may not even be aware that they have an HPV infection. But the virus is quite dangerous. If it remains in your system, it can cause a variety of cancers like cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, throat, and penis. It can also cause lesions in the upper respiratory tract and genital warts.2 So, if you are sexually active, it is advisable to go for regular screenings and checkups just to be on the safe side. You should still take this precaution even if you have sex with only one person. If you do happen to contract the virus and if you do develop any type of cancer, your chances of beating cancer become much higher when you detect it in its early stages.
How IUDs Affect A Woman’s Risk Of Cervical Cancer
Recently, it was discovered that IUDs not only help prevent pregnancies but also help lower a woman’s risk of cervical cancer. Some researchers examined data from 16 studies that were previously published, which studied 4,945 women who had cervical cancer and 7,537 women who did not. The results of the studies showed that women who used IUDs as contraception were 36 percent less likely to get cervical cancer than their counterparts who did not use the device.3
Limitations Regarding The Study Of IUDs And Cervical Cancer
Is It Worth Continuing Research On The Potential Use Of IUDs To Prevent Cervical Cancer?
|↑1||IUD (intrauterine device). National Health Service.|
|↑2||Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
|↑3||Cortessis, Victoria K., Malcolm Barrett, Niquelle Brown Wade, Temuulen Enebish, Judith L. Perrigo, Jessica Tobin, Charlie Zhong et al. “Intrauterine Device Use and Cervical Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 130, no. 6. 2017.|
|↑4||Stanley, Margaret. “Immune responses to human papillomavirus.” Vaccine 24. 2006.|