Ovarian Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Do Intrauterine Devices Offer Benefits Beyond Contraception?

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A retrospective analysis suggests that use of an intrauterine device (IUD) may be associated with a reduced incidence of ovarian cancer, although the prospective data are limited. Lindsay J. Wheeler, MD, of the Colorado School of Medicine, and colleagues published their meta-analysis in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“This is very important data, but I do think that each woman should be individualized, and she should talk to her gynecologist about what is the right contraceptive therapy for her,” suggested coauthor Saketh R. Guntupalli, MD, also of the University of Colorado, in an institutional press release.

The researchers used databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science Core Collection to search for articles published up to June 2018. Studies included in the meta-analysis were case-control and cohort studies that collected individual data on IUD use and ovarian cancer diagnosis. A total of 15 studies with individual-level data regarding IUD use and the incidence of ovarian cancer were identified, and 11 of these studies were incorporated into the meta-analysis.

Data from each study were harmonized and weighted, and summary odds ratios were calculated. A random-effects meta-analysis revealed an odds ratio association between the use of an IUD and the incidence of ovarian cancer of 0.68. Both types of IUD, hormonal or metal, were associated with a reduced cancer risk of 15% to 32%. There appeared to be no significant differences among other covariates.

Several limitations of the study exist, with the most prominent being that no prospective analysis has yet been conducted. In addition, because the study looked at previous research, the researchers could not identify the amount of time each woman in these studies used an IUD.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at journals.lww.com.

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