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A newspaper report states that a study from Mexico City shows that women who take birth control pills have a much higher incidence of precancerous changes of the cervix, but that doesn't mean that taking birth control pills causes cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is caused almost exclusively by infection with the human papilloma virus that is transmitted by sexual intercourse. Women who take birth control pills are far more sexually active than women who do not take them. Condoms help prevent transmission of the human papilloma virus, while birth control pills do not. Women who take birth control pills rarely use condoms because they are more concerned about pregnancy than venereal disease. So taking birth control pills increases a woman's chances of getting cervical cancer, but they do not cause cervical cancer.

Oral contraceptive users had an increased risk (odds ratio = 1.31, 95% CI 1.0-2.3) of cervical neoplasia. The evidence for an etiological relationship between oral contraceptive use and dysplastic change in cervical tissue. EL Salazar, I SojoAranda, R Lopez, M Salcedo. Gynecological Endocrinology, 2001, Vol 15, Iss 1, pp 23-28Address. Salazar EL, Univ Invs, Unidad Invest Med Med Reprod, Apartado Postal 86056, Codigo Postal 14291, Mexico City, DF, MEXICO

Reported 4/15/01; checked 9/3/05

May 16th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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