An IUD (intrauterine device) is a plastic or copper-and-plastic device that is inserted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. An IUD is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and can remain in the uterus as birth control for up to five or ten years depending on the brand. Paragard® and Mirena® are two of the most popular brands available on the market today.
A recent study showed than many women have misperceptions about IUDs and this leads to the underuse of this highly effective and safe form of birth control. In the study, researched surveyed over 1,600 women between the ages of 18 and 50 who had visited one of four clinics in Pennsylvania. Five percent of these women were currently using an IUD and 5.8% had used one in the past. During the survey, only one in five of the women correctly stated that an IUD is more effective in preventing pregnancy than birth control pills (99% versus 95% effective). Only 28% of of women in the study were aware of the fact that an IUD is more cost effective than birth control pills when used for more than three years.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 28% of women of reproductive ages are using birth control pills as contraception followed by other methods including sterilization. Only approximately 5% of women of reproductive ages are using an IUD for birth control. To combat the misperceptions and lack of information surrounding IUDs, the researchers urged clinicians to talk more about this safe and effective method of birth control with their patients.
Many OBGYN practices, are now offering both Mirena® and Paragard® IUDs to women of reproductive ages. If you would like to get more information about these forms of birth control or to find out if you are a candidate, contact your OBGYN today.