Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Combo birth control pill and estrogen dominance

Combo birth control pill and estrogen dominance

Patient: Isn’t birth control harmful if I already have estrogen dominance because it keeps estrogen levels high in the body? I have read that it may cure symptoms but the hormonal imbalance remains and causes issues in the future like endometrial or ovarian cancer. Actually I have also read contradictory things such as, the pill lowers the risk for these cancers, but if you have estrogen dominance it can increase your risk.

 

 

Doctor: Naturally occurring estrogen and progesterone have been found to influence the development and growth of some cancers. W omen with estrogen dominance as in the case of PCOS, for example, have been known to be at a higher risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers. Because birth control pills contain female hormones, researchers have also been interested in determining whether there is any link between these widely used contraceptives and cancer risk.However the results of population studies to examine associations between oral contraceptive use and cancer risk have shown that overall, the risks of endometrial and ovarian cancer appear to be reduced with the use of oral contraceptives, whereas the risks of breast, cervical, and liver cancer appear to be increased.As regards to breast cancer, the risk of cancer appears to be slightly higher in women using birth control, especially in younger women. However the risk goes back to normal after 10 years of discontinuation. In the case of cervical cancer, research does show an increased risk, but it is hugely perceived to be so because of an increased sexual activity among oral contraceptive users making them high risk for human papilloma virus infection.Women who take oral contraceptives also have an increased risk of benign liver tumors, but the relationship between oral contraceptive use and malignant liver tumors is less clear.As far as endometrial and ovarian cancer is concerned, you need not worry as birth control offers you a protective effect that increases with the length of time oral contraceptives are used and continues for many years after a woman stops using oral contraceptives. Since you have polycystic ovaries, this effect is quite beneficial for you and is in fact recommended in your case.

 


 

 
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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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