Tubal Ligation and Risk of Endometrial Cancer: Findings from the Women's Health Initiative

Ira Winer, Amy Lehman, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Randal Robinson, Michael Simon, Michele Cote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective Bilateral tubal ligation (BTL) is a common form of birth control in the United States. There are limited, contradictory data examining BTL and the risk of endometrial cancer and none examining type I and type II cancers separately. We investigated the association between BTL and endometrial cancer risk using the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Observational and Dietary Modification Studies. Methods Demographic information and history of BTL were obtained from the baseline questionnaires from 76,483 WHI participants in the Observational and Dietary Modification Studies. Univariable and multivariable models were used to examine the association of BTL with type I and type II endometrial cancers. Results A total of 1137 women were diagnosed with incident endometrial cancer (972 type I and 128 type II) during a mean follow-up of 11.3 years. Overall, 14,499 (19%) women had undergone BTL. There were no statistically significant associations noted between BTL and age at BTL for type I or type II cancers. Conclusions We examined the largest patient cohort to date in an effort to determine the impact of BTL on endometrial cancer risk. In the WHI trial, we observed no overall effect of BTL on the risk of type I or type II endometrial cancer, suggesting that patients undergoing this popular birth control method likely do not have an associated change in their baseline risk for endometrial cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-471
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Endometrial cancer
  • Tubal ligation
  • Women's Health Initiative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Oncology


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