Hormonal Contraceptive Link to HPV, Cervical Cancer Examined

Hormonal contraceptive use does not appear to increase risk in HPV-positive women
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women using hormonal contraception who tested positive for the human papillomavirus (HPV) are not at increased risk of developing cervical cancer, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. However, use of depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) is linked with higher risk of oncogenic HPV infection.

Tiffany G. Harris, Ph.D., of the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Seattle, and colleagues conducted two case-control studies of women who underwent cytologic and HPV testing. The first group comprised 458 oncogenic HPV-positive women of whom 152 tested negative for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), 133 were diagnosed with CIN1, and 173 were diagnosed with CIN2-3 or greater. The second group comprised 152 women positive for oncogenic HPV with negative histology and 107 women negative for HPV with negative histology.

Use of DMPA was inversely associated with a diagnosis of CIN2-3 or greater and CIN1, among oncogenic HPV-positive women, while use of combined oral contraceptives did not have an association with either, the researchers found. However, for women with negative histology, there was an association between oncogenic HPV and use of DMPA, the researchers discovered.

"Among women with oncogenic HPV, hormonal contraceptive use was not associated with an increased risk of CIN2-3 or greater," the authors write. "Longer-term DMPA use may attenuate the colposcopic and histologic features of CIN because women reporting such use were more likely than others to have cervical oncogenic HPV without evidence of CIN."

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