The oral contraceptive pill is a widely used method of contraception.
There have been conflicting studies linking the use of oral contraceptives to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Dr Ronalda Ortizo and colleagues performed a meta-analysis to better define the association between oral contraceptive pill exposure, and the risk for development of IBD.
A thorough search of multiple databases, including Scopus, Cochrane, MEDLINE/PubMed, and CINAHL, and abstracts from major gastroenterology meetings was performed.
|There was a 24% higher risk for developing Crohn’s disease in patients exposed to oral contraceptive pill |
|European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
Studies reporting the development of IBD in patients with or without previous exposure to oral contraceptive pill, compared with healthy controls, were included.
The team performed a complete analysis of 20 studies, where there appeared to be over a 30% increased risk for the development of IBD in patients exposed to oral contraceptive pill compared with patients not exposed to oral contraceptive pill.
The researchers found a 24% higher risk for developing Crohn’s disease, and a 30% higher risk for developing ulcerative colitis in patients exposed to oral contraceptive pill compared with those not exposed to the medication.
Dr Ortizo's team concludes, "The use of oral contraceptive pill is associated with an increased risk for development of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the genetically susceptible host."
"The total duration, dose of oral contraceptive pill exposure, and the risk for development of IBD need to be better characterized."