What Makes the IUD Better than Other Contraceptives?

What Makes the IUD Better than Other Contraceptives?

What Makes the IUD Better than Other Contraceptives?

Intrauterine devices are one of the most effective forms of reversible birth control, but few American women use them. That, however, is starting to change: The percentage of women using IUDs has grown rapidly in recent years as new products have come onto the market and as more doctors recommend women consider them.


The IUD is perhaps the most misunderstood contraceptive, especially in the USA, where IUD use is reported to be the lowest in the developed world.  It doesn't help that the acronym IUD sounds like an explosive device. Couple that with scary-sounding (yet extremely rare) risk of “uterus perforation” and its combination to make most cervixes scream. Yet they are worth considering because they are 98-99 per cent effective and are what family planning experts call a “LARC” (long acting reversible contraception). Essentially, lie back and relax once your coil has been fitted as you are protected from pregnancy (though not from STIs) for up to ten years. One doctor described it as a contraceptive to “set and forget.”


Yet despite the convenience and reliability of the coil, only eight per cent of English women use it. In some part this is because of what happened in America in the early 1970s when hundreds of thousands of women filed lawsuits against the A.H. Robins Company which sold the deadly Dalkon Shield IUD.


So how can you choose which pregnancy prevention method is right for you?


The most important step is to weigh your options with your doctor. You’ll want to find out how each form of birth control will affect your health, says Sara Newmann, MD, associate professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Factors like high blood pressure, your smoking habits, and a history of breast cancer should all have an impact on your pick.


The most popular forms of birth control in the United States, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, are oral contraception, tubal ligation (having your tubes tied), and condoms. While no one method is foolproof, oral contraception can do a pretty good job of preventing pregnancy: For every 100 women who are using oral contraception, nine will become pregnant.


Many medical or hospital plans currently don’t require you to pay anything for your prescription, but there are some that do. Oral contraception can cost around R300.00a month; a vaginal ring R 1 000.00. A IUD can cost up to R3 000.00 – but will last up to 60 months.


But what about weight gain? A review published in January 2014 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews analyzed 49 studies and found that going on the pill or using the patch made no significant difference in weight for most women; the largest notable weight gain found, when studies did find it, was around 2kg. In the 21 studies that provided data on why women stopped taking birth control, 0 to 5 percent of women said they stopped because of weight gain.


What's not a myth, on the other hand, is that the IUD is one of the longest acting methods of birth control which does not carry all the nasty side effects other more traditional methods do. The failure rate is comparable to none in terms of how effective it is when used correctly, and of course – the cost of the IUD over its lifespan of 5-10 years can be a huge saving in the long run.



Why not get in touch with us today to find out more about the CopperPearls IUB?