Breast­feed­ing may pre­vent en­dometrio­sis

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FAMILY TIES -

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

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