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Nuns urged to take Pill

Thursday December 8th, 2011

Nuns should be given the contraceptive pill for the sake of their general health, experts say today.

The pill helps cut the risk of cancer and has been shown to reduce death rates among women by 12 per cent, according to Australian doctors.

The Catholic Church bans the use of contraception - but Dr Kara Britt, of Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and Professor Roger Short, University of Melbourne, Australia, say the pill should now be seen as an aid to general health.

The pill at least halves the risk of cancer of the ovaries and of cancer of the lining of the womb, they say in The Lancet.

There is also a slight increase in the risk of deep vein blood clots.

The doctors point out that women who do not have children face increased risks of cancer - and this may be because they experience more menstrual cycles.

Dr Britt and Professor Short say the Catholic Church does not ban therapies, which may prevent conception as a side effect.

They write: "If the Catholic Church could make the contraceptive pill freely available to all its nuns, it would reduce the risk of those accursed pests, cancer of the ovary and uterus, and give nuns' plight the recognition it deserves."

The Lancet December 8 2011

Tags: Australia | Cancer | General Health | Pharmaceuticals | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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