Noncontraceptive health benefits of oral steroidal contraceptives.Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1982 Mar 15; 142(6 Pt 2):809-16.AJ
Prospective and retrospective epidemiologic studies involving oral contraceptives have been reviewed to determine the existence and extent of their benefits other than prevention of pregnancy. There is less menstrual blood loss, which reduces the risk of iron deficiency anemia by about 50%. The incidence of menorrhagia, irregular menses, and intermenstrual bleeding is also significantly reduced in users of oral contraceptives. Studies have shown an approximate 50% reduction in risk of endometrial cancer in oral contraceptive users, as well as a significant reduction in various types of benign breast disease. Because oral contraceptives inhibit ovulation, functional ovarian cysts are nearly eliminated, and the incidence of dysmenorrhea and premenstrual tension is significantly reduced. Oral contraceptives also protect women from developing ovarian carcinoma, rheumatoid arthritis, and salpingitis. From this review we conclude that the benefits of oral contraceptives in young healthy women for far outweight their more widely publicized, infrequent risks.