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Birth Control May Prevent Ovarian Cancer

The late stage of pregnancy is a good time for a woman to begin thinking about methods of birth control for after the baby’s born. The sheer exhaustion of caring for a newborn may act as ‘natural birth control’ for a while, but eventually, passion will take over and you’ll want to re-connect with the parent of your new baby on a more adult level once again.

If you’re positive you don’t want anymore children’whether you just had number one, number 69 (the most babies ever born to one mother in history) or somewhere in between’tubal ligation surgery, having your ‘tubes tied,’ might be the way to go.

Why should the burden fall on the woman? Isn’t a vasectomy a simple, in-office procedure that your husband can have, while tubal ligation is major surgery?

Good points, but, according to the American Cancer Society, tubal ligation for birth control also may have health benefits in preventing ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer often falls in breast cancer’s highly-publicized shadow as a ‘woman killer,’ but it is, in fact, the eighth most common cancer overall, and the fifth leading cause of cancer death. Your chance of contracting ovarian cancer is roughly one in 71, but researchers think there may be a correlation with ovulation and the cancer. For this reason, taking birth control pills may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, as will tubal ligation for permanent birth control. The less times, over the course of your life, your ovaries release an egg, the less likely you are to contract ovarian cancer.

Most ovarian cancers occur post-menopause; in fact, half of them are found in women over the age of 63, so another good preventative measure is to continue with annual pelvic exams late into life. Additionally, keep your weight in check, as obese women are 50 percent more likely to die from the disease.

In the U.S. in 2008, the ACS predicts 21,000 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed, with 15,000 of those resulting in death. It’s time to bring this woman-killer out of the shadows and work to start preventing the disease.

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