Breastfeeding may prevent endometriosis
A NEW study has suggested that breastfeeding may have yet another health benefit for women, finding that it could prevent endometriosis.
A chronic incurable gynecological disorder, endometriosis affects 10% of women in the United States, causing chronic pelvic pain, painful periods and pain during intercourse.
The new study, carried out by investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the US, has found that breastfeeding could reduce a woman’s chance of developing the sometimes debilitating condition, which up until now has had very few known modifiable risk factors.
The research team used data from the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII), a prospective cohort study that began in 1989, and follow 72,394 women for more than 20 years.
The team looked at how long each woman breastfed, exclusively breastfed (without the introduction of solid food or formula), and how much time passed before their first postpartum period.
The results showed that women who breastfed for longer periods of time had a significantly lower risk of being diagnosed with endometriosis.
For every three additional months that mothers breastfed per pregnancy, they experienced an 8% drop in risk of endometriosis, and for mothers who exclusively breastfed, the risk dropped by 14%.
The team also investigated the effect of breastfeeding throughout the whole of a woman’s reproductive lifetime – that is, breastfeedling more than one child.
This time they found that women who breastfed exclusively for 18 months or more had a nearly 30% lower risk of being diagnosed with endometriosis. – AFP-Relaxnews and