Does it increase your risk of cancer?
Contraceptive pills which contains oestrogen have been found to cause a slight increase in your risk of breast cancer. It is unclear if there is any link between the progesterone-only pill and breast cancer.
At the same time, the combined contraceptive pill appears to protect against ovarian cancer, bowel cancer and cancer of the womb to a certain degree. Preliminary research results indicate that women who have been taking the pill may be 20% less likely to contract bowel cancer than those who have never used it.
What does that mean for me?
If you have a family history of cancer or know that you have a high risk of cancer (for example because you have already had it) your GP may not recommend that you take a pill which contains oestrogen.
The slight increase in your breast and cervical cancer risk is not permanent and within ten years of stopping the pill, it returns to normal.