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US Women Retain Misguided Outlook on IUDs, Experts Studies Suggest

A recent study conducted on the wrong perceptions over contraception showed that US women have had incorrect notions about intrauterine devices (IUDs), medical researchers claim. This erroneous understanding of the safety and effectiveness of IUDs even includes to not understanding that IUDs are more effective than birth control pills or that they do not increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections, researchers said.

Whether or not the women who partook in this study simply had an overly optimistic outlook in favor of birth control pills or had a very dim view of IUDs, the researchers could not say. Whatever the reason, their misconceptions leads to the underuse of one of the most safe and effective methods of contraception, said Jeffrey Peipert, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University.

The brand names Paragard, Mirena, and recently Skyla, are what represents IUDs, which are small plastic or copper-and-plastic devices that inserted into the uterus. They are rated to be 99 percent effective against unwanted pregnancies and may last from five up to ten years.

Birth control pills in comparison only exhibited a 95 percent effectiveness In contrast, birth control pills only protected against unwanted pregnancies by 95 percent.

The study surveyed over 1,600 women between the ages of 18 and 50. An estimated five percent were currently using IUDs and another 5.8 percent had previously been on them. In terms of knowing whether an IUD was more effective at preventing pregnancies than the pill, only one in five women claimed to know, and only 28 percent claimed to know that compared to the pill after more than three years, the IUD was more effective.

The women in the study showed considerably more knowledge about the risks of disease from using IUDs with 57 percent answering correctly that there is no greater risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease with an IUD than with the pill.

The researchers found that IUDs still have a negative reputation that lingers from the ‘70s when Dalkon Shield first debuted resulting in thousands of injuries and women suing for damages. It comes as no surprise then that even physicians also have the same misgivings about IUDs more than three decades later.

A study performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012 reported that 28 percent of women of child-bearing age in the US used oral birth control methods, while 27 percent underwent sterilization through tubal ligation. In the same study, IUD use had risen from 0.8 percent in 1995 to 5.6 percent in 2010.

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US Women Retain Misguided Outlook on IUDs, Experts Studies Suggest