Press Article31/03/2010

Pill fights recurring ovarian cysts

Women who take the Pill could be protected against ovarian cysts, a new study has suggested.

A trial published in Fertility and Sterility provides evidence that the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) cuts the recurrence of endometriomas after removal by surgery.

Removing what are often called 'chocolate' cysts - for the brown liquid they contain - is a simple operation, but complications or pain can occur as they can easily reform.

The trial involved 239 patients who had just undergone the surgery, and who were then tracked for up to two years. Some were given no treatment, some took cyclic versions of the Pill and some took continuous versions.

Women who took the Pill significantly suffered fewer cyst recurrences, and long-term treatment seemed to be key.

In an evaluation of the study, Neil Johnson and Shelley Reilly from Auckland, New Zealand, conclude: "This study is perhaps the only randomised controlled trial that has evaluated the effectiveness of the use of long-term postoperative OCP treatment to prevent endometrioma recurrence."

"The length of treatment appears to play an important role in the efficacy of therapy," they add.

Copyright © Press Association 2010


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