Teens have lower risk of pregnancy with IUDs, Study Finds
The total rate of teenage pregnancies has taken a sharp decline in recent years compared to national statistics thanks to increased use of long-acting reversible contraceptives, a recent study finds. Teen pregnancies in the United States have decreased by approximately 56 percent in these few years.
This new study called the Contraceptive Choice project has been presented to the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. This project was created to promote the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) and to measure rates of acceptability, satisfaction, side effects, and rates of continuation across a variety of contraceptive methods. In addition, the project also seeks to improve the use of IUDs and contraceptive implant rates in the city of St. Louis.
Teen pregnancy rates may even lower by as much as 10 percent, according to a possible hypothesis posited by researchers. Women who use LARCs have a tendency to report greater satisfaction and continued use than those using reversible birth control methods that have a shorter lifespan.
The study included 9,256 women from the city of St. Louis or St. Louis County, who were aged 14-45 years of age. All the women interviewed had differing sexual histories and were started on varying methods of contraceptives for the next year. One group of women who signed up for the study under the University of Washington received modified contraceptive counseling, while those who were signed under community medical centers received regular counseling.
One of the studyâ€™s findings showed that 86 percent of the 5,087 women who participated in the Contraceptive Choice Project opted to use LARC and continued using them, whereas, of the women who decided to use shorter-term reversible contraceptives, 56 percent chose to continue using them. This closely coincides with the percentage of those who reported overall satisfaction with their choice of
contraceptives after a 12 month follow-up with 84 percent from LARC use and 53 percent with nonLARC methods.
Among the adolescents who chose to use LARCs, only 6 percent of them decided to have them removed after using them for 6 weeks; in light of finding them beneficial. It was shown that the annual pregnancy rate for teenagers on LARCs was found to be lower at 29.9/1000, compared to the 2008 annual rate of 67.8/1000, which is surprising reduction of 56 percent.
The researchers concluded after a one year follow-up that this studyâ€™s preliminary findings need to be confirmed with additional research and that women who do not use LARCs have a 20 times higher unintended pregnancy risk than those who do. They also estimate that interest in LARCs will continue to grow with more studies encouraging their use.