IUDs are just as safe and effective as birth control pills

By: Taren Vaughan

Researchers have continuously come up with multiple ways for women to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Out of all the contraceptive methods out on the market, birth control pills are highly favored amongst the others. They have been said to be not only effective in preventing pregnancy. But birth control pills have also been said to be relatively safe, with the exception of a small few. Although this is true, there are other contraceptive methods that are just as harmless.

Intrauterine devices, also known as IUDs, are forms of birth control that have been around for many years now. Similar to the vaginal ring, IUDs are actually inserted into a woman’s uterus, preventing conception. Even though the device is small in size, it has caused great fear amongst women and even doctors over the years.

According to the National Survey of Family Growth, 1 percent of U.S. girls ages 15-19used IUDs for birth control from 2006 to 2008, compared to the 15.2 percent that used birth-control pills. Sounds like teenage girls were not too pressed to test out the IUDs. As the age group expanded, the usage percentage for IUDs did climb to 3.4 percent for women ages 15-44 for the same time period. But the percentage still remained small.

Why are IUDs not used as often as other birth control methods?

Author Sophia Yen, MPH, stated her opinion as to why the devices were a last resort for the majority of women:

“The IUD has an undeserved bad reputation both in the public and among physicians. There’s the myth that they’re not appropriate for women who haven’t yet given birth, and the myth that they increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.”

Circulated myths can be a lead cause as to why women are not fond of using IUDs for pregnancy prevention. But I believe that some women are just opposed to using devices altogether. Having to physically stick any kind of contraption into your vagina or any other organ in your body can be rather overwhelming for some women. Even as adults, some of us still suffer from “tampon phobia”, feeling like they will fall out or be extremely uncomfortable.

But contraceptive methods like IUDs and vaginal rings come in handy for women who tend to be forgetful. Remembering to take a tablet at the same time every day is not a simple task for some of us. So using a device like an IUD should definitely be considered. And for those who are trying to keep some extra money in your pockets, IUDs may be something that you want to look into. Dropping $15, $20 or sometimes even $60 a month for birth control pills can set you back financially. So why not get something that is just as effective and saves you a boat load of cash?

The thought of having something sitting in your uterus other than a baby may frighten some females, especially those of younger age groups. And that is very understandable. But researchers have confirmed that IUDs are nothing to be afraid of.

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