New Push for IUD's as Birth Control Method

Created: 07/01/2014 6:36 PM
By: Brianna Long

Women's birth control has been making headlines this week, more specifically who pays for it. But there's also a focus among doctors about the types of birth control methods that are available for women who do take it.

Women make many decisions about their health in their lives. One of those decisions is birth control. The options seem endless, pills patches, shots, natural methods, etc. But many doctors are trying to get women to take a second look at long term methods, such as IUDs and implants.     

"We are placing IUD's in many women who haven't had children with great success," said Dr. Petra Casey, the Director of Complex Contraceptive Practice at Mayo Clinic.

An IUD is placed directly into the uterus, and Dr. Casey says it’s becoming more recommended because of its effectiveness.

"It is the most effective, by large, by a huge margin," said Dr. Casey.

But even so, there are only about nine percent of women who use it. That's where a project called The Contraceptive Choice comes in. It was launched a few years ago by Washington University and the goal is to change that number.

"We recruited more than 9,250 women over the span of about 4 to five years. It was fascinating, because over 75 percent of women chose the most effective form of contraception, IUDs and implants. As a result, we saw a dramatic reduction in unintended pregnancy," said Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, with Washington University.

Dr. Casey says with more education, the same thing is starting to happen in doctor's offices across the country.

"Over the last decade we've seen a trend where, in 2002 we had less than three percent of women using IUDs, whereas in 2009, i think the number was 8.5 percent. So the numbers have increased, and hopefully we will continue to see that trend," said Dr. Casey.

Photo: ABC 6 News