Contraceptives can be a good factor to reduce the risk of knee injury or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears in women. A study has been done on 1, 65, 000 female patients aged 15-49 years. It has been published in The Physician and Sports medicine Journal.
This study was analyzed by the large database and cleared that oral contraceptives protect young women aged 15-19 years from the need of reconstructive surgery following ACL injury or knee injury. The percentage of this successive figure is 63%.
As per the previous researches, elevated estrogen can increase the risk of ACL injury or knee injury in female athletes. ACL injuries or knee injuries are very common, especially 2 to 8 times more common in women than men consisting of young athletic population.
In the study, it has been analyzed that ACL reconstruction in women who were taking contraceptive during the 12 months prior to injury did not require surgical reconstruction of the ACL as compared to those women who were not taking the oral contraceptive. The analysis showed that women taking oral contraceptives were 18% less likely to require reconstructive surgery compared to matched controls.
It happens due to the estrogen and progesterone hormones which present in pills. These pills suppress the hormonal surges during the menstrual cycle which decreases the rate of knee injury in women.
To regulating the menstrual cycle and preventing pregnancy, young athletes use oral contraceptives. This can reduce injury especially knee injury risk in female athletes.
This is just an observational study so it can not be concluded that why some women tore their ACLs and others did not.
Since the study did not differentiate between athletic, recreational or accidental ACL injuries and only analyzed women with injuries that were managed with surgery. The study also explains that athletes who take oral contraceptive experience lesser ACL injuries or knee injuries than others.