intrauterine-devices

Colorado’s Push Against Teenage Pregnancies Is a Startling Success

Over the past six years, Colorado has conducted one of the largest ever real-life experiments with long-acting birth control. If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants that prevent pregnancy for years, state officials asked, would those women choose them?

They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate for teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. There was a similar decline in births for another group particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.

“Our demographer came into my office with a chart and said, ‘Greta, look at this, we’ve never seen this before,’ ” said Greta Klingler, the family planning supervisor for the public health department. “The numbers were plummeting.”

An intrauterine device, which prevents pregnancy for several years, at a clinic in Walsenburg, Colo. A state program that provides long-acting birth control has contributed to a sharp decline in birth and abortion rates among teenagers. Credit \Benjamin Rasmussen for The New York Times                    

Birth Control Methods: IUD.

IUD Introduction

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small T-shaped plastic device that is placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. A plastic string is attached to the end to ensure correct placement and for removal. IUDs are an easily reversible form of birth control, and they can be easily removed. However, an IUD should only be removed by a medical professional.

Currently in the United States, 2 types of IUDs are available: copper and hormonal. Approximately 2% of women who use birth control in the United States currently use IUDs. The most recently introduced hormonal IUD is the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG IUS or Mirena). Worldwide, IUDs are the most inexpensive long-term birth control method available.

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“Think of it as some kind of giant, angry, mucus-excreting snail guarding your ladybits.” - How IUDs Work

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This month, a new IUD became available to American women, and it may be a game changer, not because the design is particularly innovative but because it shatters the monopoly that has put top-tier contraceptives out of reach for many women. Around the world, intrauterine contraception is one of the most widely used forms of reversible birth control. It is also the method most widely used by OB-GYN doctors, for good reason: an IUD is more than 20 times as effective as the pill. It is also far cheaper in the long run. That is true even without taking into account the saved financial costs of contraceptive failure that produces abortion, pregnancy-caused health problems, or unsought childbearing.

A new IUD could shatter the monopoly – and ignorance – that keeps top-tier contraceptives out of financial reach

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — Her head draped with thin white fabric in the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition, Konjit walked to the stately entrance to the Holy Trinity Cathedral. But the soft-spoken 26-year-old did not go inside to pray because of her “sin.” Days before she had had an abortion; she had become pregnant after her birth control failed.

Like many women in Ethiopia, Konjit felt caught between two powerful forces when making decisions about reproductive health: the church and the state.

The Ethiopian Orthodox church, established in the 4th;century, officially prohibits any form of contraception that interferes with a woman’s hormones including pills, implants, intrauterine devices, and shots. So the implant she got that week is definitely not sanctioned.

Ethiopians Seeking Birth Control: Caught Between Church And State

Photo credit: Allison Shelley for NPR

Obama administration tells insurers to shape up and give women the health care they need

The Obama administration on Monday put health insurance companies on notice that they must cover all forms of female contraception, including the patch and intrauterine devices, without imposing co-payments or other charges.

In addition, the Obama administration said that insurers must cover genetic testing and counseling for certain women who have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Specifically, it said, insurers must cover testing for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer.

The new guidance also makes clear that insurers should cover preventive services for transgender people when a doctor finds that the services are medically appropriate.

IUDs And Implants Are The Fastest Growing Birth Control Method. And They’ve Never Been Cheaper.

More women than ever are using long-term forms of birth control — and it could be thanks to Obamacare.

A new federal report found the amount of women using “long-acting contraception” — specifically, an intrauterine device (IUD) or a contraceptive implant — quadrupled between 2002 and 2013. A record 11.6 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 used an IUD or implant in 2013 — up from around 7 percent in 2012.

Contraceptive implants and IUDs are very effective in preventing pregnancy — nearly 100 percent, statistics show. A new federal survey finds many more women are making this choice than did a decade ago.

Federal researchers analyzed data from a national health survey that included birth control practices among women of childbearing age. The survey found that while use of the pill, condoms and female sterilization all dipped between 2002 and 2013, the number of women using long-acting contraception more than quadrupled. These days, 11.6 percent of U.S. women — 4.4 million — rely on either an intrauterine device or a contraceptive implant to prevent pregnancy.

More Women Opt For IUD, Contraceptive Implant For Birth Control

Chart: Alyson Hurt/NPR

nytimes.com
Colorado’s Effort Against Teenage Pregnancies Is a Startling Success
A program to offer long-acting birth control, like free IUDs and implants, has helped reduce teenage pregnancies by 40 percent and abortions by 42 percent.
By Sabrina Tavernise

Over the past six years, Colorado has conducted one of the largest ever real-life experiments with long-acting birth control. If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants that prevent pregnancy for years, state officials asked, would those women choose them? They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate for teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. There was a similar decline in births for another group particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.

thinkprogress.org
The Rise Of The IUD

The number of U.S. women opting for long-term reversible methods of birth control — a category of highly effective contraceptives that includes intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants — is steadily rising, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These methods are gaining ground among Americans despite political controversy stoked by religious conservatives, who assert they’re comparable to abortion.

For decades, the most common contraception method has been the birth control pill. About 16 percent of sexually active women opted for the pill between 2011 and 2013 , according to the CDC’s latest report. Long-acting birth control, meanwhile, has historically been one of the least popular methods even though it’s actually the most effective reversible option.

But the CDC report suggests that may be slowly changing. When comparing the data from 2006-10 to the new numbers from 2011-13, the rate of women choosing IUDs and implants nearly doubled — jumping from 3.8 percent to 7.2 percent.

YAY! IUD! | Follow ThinkProgress

motherjones.com
Hobby Lobby 2: Inside Republicans' plan to kill America's most effective anti-teen-pregnancy program

Late in 2007, an employee at the Colorado health department received an unusual request. A private foundation wanted the state to provide long-acting, reversible birth control—intrauterine devices and hormonal implants—to low- and moderate-income women at little or no cost. The foundation was willing to foot the bill—which ended up being $27.4 million—so long as it was allowed to remain anonymous.

Seven years later, the program has been, by most measures, a huge success. Teen birthrates are dropping across the country, but Colorado’s has fallen faster than the nationwide average, allowing it to leapfrog 11 spots in the national rankings. Between 2010 and 2012, the state estimates, 4,300 to 9,700 births to women on the state’s Medicaid program that would have otherwise occurred did not—saving Medicaid between $49 million and $111 million. The state’s abortion rate has also cratered, falling 42 percent among women ages 15 to 19 and 18 percent among women ages 20 to 24 between 2009 and 2012.

Now the private donor—whose identity remains secret—is ending the grant. A bipartisan pair of legislators in the Democrat-controlled state House have introduced a bill to use state money to continue the program. But in the state Senate, where the GOP holds a one-vote majority, abortion politics—and the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision—may scuttle the plan.

A plan that reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies, reduces the number of abortions, and saves the state a load of money, and the Republican lawmakers of Colorado still aren’t happy. Just a fun little reminder that their goal is not to reduce the number of abortions, but to keep people pregnant.

Since long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), including intrauterine devices and hormonal contraceptive implants, are among the most effective means of pregnancy prevention, many family planning and reproductive health providers are increasingly promoting them, especially among low-income populations.

But the promotion of LARCs must come with an acknowledgment of historical discriminatory practices and public policy related to birth control. To improve contraceptive access for low-income women and girls of color—who bear the disproportionate effects of unplanned pregnancy—providers and advocates must work to ensure that the reproductive autonomy of this population is respected now, precisely because it hasn’t been in the past.

Ethiopians Seeking Birth Control: Caught Between Church And State

Her head draped with thin white fabric in the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition, Konjit walked to the stately entrance to the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa. But the soft-spoken 26-year-old did not go inside to pray because of her “sin.” Days before, she had had an abortion; she had become pregnant after her birth control failed.

Like many women in Ethiopia, Konjit felt caught between two powerful forces when making decisions about reproductive health: the church and the state [note: we are using only her first name to protect her privacy].

The Ethiopian Orthodox church, established in the 4th century, officially prohibits any form of contraception that interferes with a woman’s hormones, including pills, implants, intrauterine devices and shots. So the implant she got that week is definitely not sanctioned.

Abba Gebere Mariyam Welde Samuel, a 35-year-old priest at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, explained, “The Bible doesn’t allow the use of pills.” The only form of birth control the priests recommend is the natural method — abstaining from sex on Orthodox feast days — there can be up to 250 in a year — andwhen women are fertile.

And the church has a mighty reach: 43 percent of the 91.7 million Ethiopians are adherents.

Yet the number of Ethiopian women using hormonal birth control has steadily increased, from 8 percent in 2000 to 29 percent in 2014. This trend attests to the power of the government.

Continue reading.

Photo: Participants sing during a wedding ceremony at Bole Medhane Alem (Savior of the World) Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It’s Africa’s largest Orthodox church, and its message on contraceptive devices is clear: not permitted. (Allison Shelley for NPR)

Did you know that there are some birth control methods that can last for as long as 3, 5, or even 12 years! That’s a fact!

One kind of long-term method is called an IUD which stands for Intrauterine Device. IUDs are small T-shaped devices that are placed in the uterus by a health care provider to prevent pregnancy. IUD are over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

There are currently 2 different kinds of IUDS: Hormonal and Copper.

Hormonal IUDs

  • Mirena IUDs contain hormones that prevent eggs from leaving the ovaries and meeting with sperm. They can work to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years.
  • Skyla IUDs work in the same way as Mirena IUDs, but they are a little smaller and have a slightly lower-dose of hormones. They can work to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years.

Copper IUDs (Paragard) have a small amount of copper that changes the way sperm move so they can’t reach an egg. They can work for up to 12 years.

IUDs are effective for both teens and adults. Someone does not need to have given birth to use an IUD. If you think an IUD might be a good method for you talk to your health care provider or visit a Planned Parenthood Health Center.

Colorado Lawmakers’ Brilliant Tactic to Help Reduce Unwanted Pregnancy

Colorado politicians have been spotted making a fashion statement at the state Capitol in support of a new contraception measure. Last week, the state made headlines after legislators decided to wear intrauterine device (IUD) earrings and lapels to promote a bill that would finance the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, which would use $5 million to provide IUDs and other reversible forms of birth control to women for little to no money.

“It helps kind of get the conversation going, as well as alleviate fears people have when they hear the term IUD,” Dr. Larry Wolk, Colorado’s chief medical officer, told the Denver Post of the jewelry. Virginia Smith, an OB-GYN based in Ohio,created the earrings and has sold around 200 pairs to people in Colorado.

The Colorado Family Planning Initiative was previously financed by private grants since 2009, but the money is set to expire at the end of June. As a result, some lawmakers want to step in and provide public funding. Last year, Colorado state Rep. Bob Beauprez came under fire for calling IUDs “abortifacient,” likening a contraceptive to an abortion. Intrauterine devices, however, don’t cause abortions. They’re designed to prevent pregnancy, just like birth control pills.

Over the past six years, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative has reportedly given 30,000 subsidized IUDs to women in the state, resulting in a 40 percent drop in teen pregnancies over the last four years.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1Cz9DKv

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, known as Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC), are the most effective types of birth control for teens. LARC is safe to use, does not require taking a pill each day or doing something each time before having sex, and can prevent pregnancy for 3 to 10 years, depending on the method. Less than 1% of LARC users would become pregnant during the first year of use.

(From CDC)

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Unintended pregnancies fell 18 percent between 2008 and 2011 — the steepest decline in decades. 

What’s the reason?

Women are picking better, more effective birth control. 

Since 2007, researchers have seen a sharp rise in long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), such as intrauterine devices and implants. These forms of birth control last for years once inserted and prevent pregnancy for more than 99 percent of users. 

LARCs like IUDs and implants are amazingly, fantastically good at preventing pregnancy — better than any other available birth control. The fact that usage of these contraceptives has nearly tripled since 2007 is a huge part of why unintended pregnancies are dropping.

What drove the rise of the LARCs is still a bit of a mystery, but it could be due to the introduction of new types of LARCs in recent years, which were more appealing to women, increased endorsement of LARCs from medical professionals, and expanded access to these types of birth control under Obamacare.