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  1. 1
    318979

    Hormonal contraception and bone health.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Department of Reproductive Health and Research

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, 2007. [2] p. (Provider Brief)

    Hormonal contraceptives, which include birth control pills, injections, implants, the patch and the vaginal ring, all use hormones to keep a woman from getting pregnant. These hormones can have other health effects for women, many of them beneficial, besides just preventing pregnancy. However, some questions have been raised about how particular hormonal contraceptives, DMPA (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate with trade names of Depo-Provera, Depo-Clinovir and others) and NET-EN (norethisterone enantate or Noristerat, Norigest, Doryxas and others), may affect the health of women's bone. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    069700

    What is breast cancer risk with Depo-Provera?

    CONTRACEPTIVE TECHNOLOGY UPDATE. 1992 Jan; 13(1):15-6.

    A recent World Health Organization (WHO) study found that women using Depo-Provera have only a slight increased risk of breast cancer. WHO examined case-control data from 5 hospitals in Africa, Mexico, and Thailand. The study revealed a 1.21 relative risk of breast cancer among all women in the study who had used Depo-Provera (a relative risk of 1.0 means that there is neither an increased or decreased likelihood to develop the disease in question). A relative risk of 1.21 indicates that there is a 21% increased likelihood of developing the disease, but any relative risk of less than 2.0 is considered slight. The study also found that among the diagnosed breast cancer cases, 12.5% had ever used Depo-Provera, compared to 12.2% among the control patients. Although an increased risk of breast cancer among women--especially women under 35--within the first 4 years of exposure to Depo-Provera was found, the risk did not increase with the duration of use, and it did not increase among women who had used the drug for more than 5 years. WHO explains that the risk of breast cancer among Depo-Provera user is similar to that found among oral contraceptives users, whose relative risk ranges from 1.0-1.42. Based on their findings, WHO investigators estimate that there would be 7-8 new cases of breast cancer per 100,000 Depo-Provera users annually, compared to 5 new cases annually among women who had not used the drug. As a recent commentary by Family Health International (FHI) points out, this increased risk of breast cancer must be weighted against the benefits provided by Depo-Provera. FHI concludes that there is a net gain for women using Depo-Provera, since despite the slight risk of breast cancer, it would result in a higher life expectancy compared to women not using contraception.
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