IUDs (i.e. intrauterine devices) are really popular around the world! In parts of Asia, IUDs are used by 50% of contraceptive users, and in parts of northern Europe, 27% of women using contraception are using an IUD. IUD usage is on the rise in the United States.
First off, an IUD is a method of birth control where a small device is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are one of the safest and most effective methods of birth control available. There’s a lot of information about IUDs online (and not all of it is accurate) so let’s take the time to provide some facts and dispel a few myths.
Fact: If you have the student health insurance (through Pearce and Pearce*) an IUD from campus health is only $30! *Note to readers: this information may not accurately reflect your insurance co-pay. The student insurance plan is now provided through Blue Cross Blue Shield. Find out your co-pay by calling your insurance customer service number.
Fact: Skyla can be used to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years, Mirena for up to 5 years and Paragard for up to 10 years!
Myth: IUDs increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Fact: IUD users are not at increased risk of contracting STIs. Women who are at risk for STIs should use a latex barrier (like a condom or dental dam), but these women are generally still good candidates for an IUD.
Myth: Only women who are done having children should get an IUD.
Fact: Most women, including women who have never had children, are generally good candidates for an IUD. Also, fertility returns quickly after an IUD is removed, so people have more control to decide if and when they want to parent.
Myth: IUDs increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Fact: A woman is more at risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy if she is not using contraception. IUDs work by preventing fertilization of an egg, therefore, reducing the incidence of pregnancy, which will in turn, reduce the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Want to read more about IUDs? Here’s a great article from the New York Times and more detailed information from Campus Health Services.
All the facts cited here were pulled from: Hatcher, R. A., Trussell, J., & Nelson, A. L. (2011). Contraceptive technology (20th ed.) Ardent Media, Inc.
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