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Breast cancer risk may increase with an IUD
(CNN) -- Modern contraceptives have radically changed women's lives, but they are not risk free.
The new study out of the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology finds the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) or progesterone-releasing IUD, may be associated with a higher than expected incidence of breast cancer.
This form of IUD was originally developed as a contraceptive, but later was also used as a treatment for women who suffer from heavy periods (menorrhagia) as well as(endometriosis) and chronic pelvic pain.
Levonorgestrel is a synthetic progesterone, which is a hormone that's naturally produced in a woman's body. It regulates ovulation. The hormone causes changes to the uterine lining and mucus in the cervix which makes it harder for sperm to reach the uterus, therefore making it more difficult to conceive. Because it strengthens the uterine lining, it helps cut down on heavy bleeding.
It is also used in the Plan B contraceptive, better known as the morning after pill.
Read more: CNN