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Pill helps prevent some cancers

A study of the "off-label" benefits of hormonal contraceptives has found that the Pill may be beneficial in relieving menstruation-related disorders, including severe menstrual pain and heavy menstrual bleeding, as well as reducing the risk of certain cancers.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Pill may boast a string of beneficial side effects ranging from improving acne to preventing endometrial, ovarian and colorectal cancer, particularly when combined contraceptives containing oestrogen and progesterone were taken.

Dr Robert L Reid, who led the study published in the latest issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, said: "We've known for many years that hormonal contraceptives have health advantages beyond preventing pregnancy.

"These recommendations examine the scientific data supporting the non-contraceptive uses of hormonal contraceptives to treat specific conditions.

"Combined oral contraceptives are effective in normalising irregular periods, reducing symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, improving acne and allowing women to avoid having their period at inconvenient times, such as during a business trip, vacation or honeymoon.

"Although there is little data on the newer forms of hormonal contraception in terms of their off-label benefits, experts suggest that they may be as effective as the more studied ones in treating the same conditions."

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