Breast health

Impact of oral contraceptives on breast health

Contraception is an effective way for a woman to plan her life and family but it is important to know, how it impacts your body and health. Out of all contraception methods, oral contraceptives carry the highest risk of breast cancer, because of the daily impact on hormone levels in your body. But before You worry - read more! 

How does it affect your health?

Sometimes, even hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, normally produced within your body, stimulate the development of tumors such as breast cancer, because of hormone receptors present in the tumor tissue. Oral contraception carries a synthetical version of those hormones, and the use of it affects the body hormone levels daily, making the breast cancer risk higher.1

Risks associated with oral contraception

Compared to the contraceptives available in the ’90s, modern-day contraceptives are much safer. By changing the drug combinations, the way they impact the body has also been changed. Though some studies still show that the use of tri-phasic Levonorgestrel containing contraceptives carries higher risk of breast cancer. Nevertheless, the research on the impact of the new drug options never stops. As every contraception option carries different risks and benefits, don’t be shy to ask your gynecologist, for more details.

If You have ever used oral contraceptives, it would be good to know more about the long term effects. Those who currently use oral contraceptives are at higher breast cancer risk, compared to those who stopped the use because their hormone level is still being affected daily.  The longer You use them the higher is the risk, because of the amount of time during which your hormones were affected. But studies have shown that after one stops the use of oral contraceptives the breast cancer risk returns back to normal in a span of 8 to 10 years. 2 

Even though the use of oral contraception carries a little higher risk of having breast cancer, it is still one of the best tools for family planning. That's why we are suggesting You consult with your gynecologist to decide which option is better for You so You can make a wise and informed decision!

Oral contraceptive use is only one of the factors that impact breast cancer risk. To assess other factors take a short free survey on page.

1 National Cancer Institute, Oral Contraceptives and Cancer Risk, 2018
2  Breast cancer and hormonal contraceptives: collaborative reanalysis of individual data on 53 297 women with breast cancer and 100 239 women without breast cancer from 54 epidemiological studies. Lancet. 1996;347(9017):1713-1727