Invasive cervical cancer may be approximately 1/3 less likely in women who have used an intrauterine device (IUD), according to a new review published in Obstetrics & Gynecology

Researchers aimed to quantify the risk of cervical cancer associated with IUD use by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis through July 2016. A search of databases, scientific meetings, and dissertations identified 225 reports (34 studies) evaluating individual IUD use and occurrence of cervical cancer. Of these, 16 studies were deemed for inclusion in the meta-analysis; impact of human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence and cervical cancer incidence were taken into account. 

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The data showed women who used IUD had a lower occurrence of cervical cancer (odds ratio [OR] 0.64, 95% CI: 0.53–0.77). The protective effect did not appear to be due to confounding by risk factors or publication bias, according to the authors. 

“This possible noncontraceptive benefit could be most beneficial in populations with severely limited access to screening and concomitantly high cervical cancer incidence,” added corresponding author Victoria K. Cortessis, PhD. 

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