A new study found an increase in breast cancer risk for those who take any hormonal contraceptives.

“There is this increased risk whatever you use in terms of hormonal contraceptives,” co-author of the study and director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, Gillian Reeves, said. “These newer types that hadn’t been so well studied, what it does look like is that they are certainly no worse.”

Here’s what we know.

Critics: House birth control bill a ‘Trojan horse’ and election ploy

What happened? The PLOS Medicine journal published a study that found that women who take a hormonal contraceptive have a 20% to 30% increase in risk of having breast cancer than those who did not.

“Use of combined oral contraceptives, containing both estrogen and progestagen, has previously been associated with a small increase in breast cancer risk but there is limited data about the effect of progestagen-only hormonal contraceptives,” the authors of the study wrote, according to Time.

CNN reported that along with combined hormonal contraceptives, progestagen-only contraceptives were also linked to a 20% to 30% higher risk of breast cancer in women.

The FDA has received its first ever application for over-the-counter birth control

How many women are on birth control in America? In data found from the National Survey of Family Growth, between 2017-2019, 65.3% of women between the ages of 15-49 in the U.S. were taking hormonal contraception, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The United Nations reported in 2019 that there were 219 million women that “rely on female sterilisation.”

View Comments

The 2022 KFF Women’s Health Survey took a “representative sample of 5,201 people” and found that about 90% of females between 18-64 years old have used birth control “at some point in their reproductive years.”

Post Roe: Here’s where each state stands on abortion

Why is this important? NBC News reported studies have observed “for decades” that the synthetic female hormones in birth control pills — namely estrogen and progestogen — could link to breast cancer, but this was never the focus of the studies to begin with.

“On average, 44% of women with breast cancer and 39% of matched controls had a hormonal contraceptive prescription, with about half the prescriptions being for progestagen-only preparations,” the study reported.

Other types of cancer have been linked to birth control, such as women having a 10% increase in risk of cervical cancer from oral contraceptives, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.