IUDs Gaining Popularity
September 1, 2011
When I say hormonal birth control, you say? The Pill, most likely. Someone trying not to be predictable might even say the Patch (Ortho Evra) or the Shot (Depo-Provera). For most, intrauterine devices (IUDs) would be at the bottom of the list, even though they’re incredibly effective. (IUDs are small birth control devices inserted in the uterus that require only one insertion by a health care provider to prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. In recent years, they have started being recommended for younger women.)
A reason for IUDs lack of popularity most likely dates back to the 1970s, when an IUD called The Dalkon Shield hit the market. The Shield caused so much tragedy for the many women who suffered from pelvic inflammatory disease, spontaneous abortions and infertility as a result of using it. For a longer look at the device’s history and notoriety, check out this article in Wired that goes over it in depth.
Today IUDs are much more safe, sterile and effective, but they have still spent more than 40 years overcoming the stigma of their crude predecessors. Today’s IUDs, such as Mirena, can be expensive, but can last for up to five years. Another IUD, Paraguard, can last up to 10 years, which means that the per-month breakdown cost is cheaper than most birth control pills. And, while the Pill is about 92-percent effective with typical use, IUDs are 99-percent effective with typical and perfect use. IUDs, unlike the Pill, aren’t something you can forget because of your big exam on Tuesday. Once an IUD is in, it’s in.
IUDs are steadily gaining popularity as younger generations learn more about these highly effective, long-acting birth control methods.