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IUDs Gaining Popularity In U.S.

By Danielle Sullivan |

IUDs Gaining Popularity In U.S.

It doesn’t exactly look like a first option.

Have IUDs been getting a bad rap?

It looks like their popularity is finally growing here in the U.S. According to the journal Fertility & Sterility, more American women have begun using intrauterine devices in the last two years, making the total number of users double in that short time.

Since many say that “IUDs and contraceptive implants are the most effective forms of reversible birth control”, this looks to be good news when talking purely statistical.

According to the study, 8.5 percent of women in the U.S. used an IUD or implant in 2009. Back in 2007, the numbers were a little below 4 percent.

In contrast, nearly one quarter of women in France and Norway opt for IUDs and in China, the number reaches 41 percent.

So why are more U.S women finally jumping on the IUD bandwagon? While it’s definitely difficult to pinpoint, some researchers feel that because we are generally have children at later ages, we need more long term pregnancy prevention.

Reuters reports that “between 0.2 percent and 0.8 percent of women will have an unplanned pregnancy within a year. The rate is just 0.05 percent with a contraceptive implant.” Birth control pills condoms together still produce a nine percent pregnancy rate, while condoms alone carry a 18-21 percent rate of unplanned pregnancies.

Of course, another factor is medical because IUDs were once thought to cause pelvic infections and fertility issues, but now the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorses their use.

Has your opinion on IUDs changed? Do you think they are safe or birth control pills easier and more effective?

Image: iStock

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About Danielle Sullivan


Danielle Sullivan

Danielle Sullivan writes for Babble Pets. She is also an award-winning parenting writer, who authors a monthly column for NY Parenting and ASPCA Parents blog. You can read more of her work at her blog,Some Puppy To Love. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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10 thoughts on “IUDs Gaining Popularity In U.S.

  1. bwsf says:

    I can’t really speak to their popularity, but I can say that my OBGYN is really *strongly* pushing one on me for after I have my son (due in 6 weeks). After I had my first son, they were like, “Hey, I see you were on the pill before you decided to have a baby, would you like to be on a pill again postpartum? Or do you want to hear other options?” This time, they (two different people) have said, “We need to discuss your postpartum birth control options. We can put in an IUD…” and then a long speech about how great they are. I find it odd, how excited they are to give them to women. I didn’t get one before, because the idea of having something in my uterus just didn’t feel right. I don’t know why, exactly. And then I learned that they don’t prevent fertilization, they only prevent implantation. Which, again I don’t know why, bugs me a lot. I still haven’t decided, but I’m thinking we’ll just go back to condoms, which is what we’d been using for 2 years before conceiving the current baby.

  2. bwsf says:

    P.S. I forgot, I wanted to also say that I used only the pill for 11 years with zero pregnancy scares. And I decided to go off of the pill because the hormones affected me differently after having a child than they had before. So, my husband and I used condoms for 2 years. Zero pregnancy scares. I know there’s no 100% proven method of birth control, but if used correctly, your odds of conceiving are pretty darn low.

  3. Danielle Sullivan says:

    @BWSF I find your experience interesting. I’m also leery of when doctors seem to push anything. I guess the connection between doctors and drug companies makes me uneasy (have heard many a horror story from both sides). You’re right and smart to consider all options, and especially what works best for you.

  4. Melanie says:

    I agree, putting something in my uterus does not feel right for me. My doctors also tried to push this option also after I had my baby. But, in my 10 years of marriage I have had zero pregnancy scares. I was on the pill on and off for 2 years, but discontinued because it always made me hormonal and it was awful. The patch never stayed on, so I never trusted it. The rest of the time condoms worked. The month after discontinuing all birth control to have a baby, I was pregnant. While birth control may not be 100% effective, if used CORRECTLY, it almost it. I cant believe how many people I talk to believe the pill works the day you start taking it, or take it irregularly, or people who actually do not know how to properly use a condom.

  5. Shawna Elise says:

    I have an appointment to talk about getting one this month. I have been interested in non-hormonal birth control for quite a while, but I don’t trust myself to correctly monitor my fertility cycles. I am looking at the non-hormonal Paragard. I am super excited about it. It lasts up to ten years and is immediately reversible once removed. It only takes a quick insertion or removal. I’m hopeful.

  6. Megan says:

    I fought with some depression and weight gain the last 2 years- it took taking my
    Mirena out to feel better. The US doesn’t state the side effects other countries do. I’d wont ever recommend a hormonal IUD to anyone- I had too many problems and the doctors just toldme it wasn’t the IUD! ( blogged about it too!)

  7. Diana says:

    My friend and I (both recent new moms) love our Mirenas. You get it inserted and then don’t have to worry about it for years. I wish I’d gotten one back in college. I strongly recommend them.

  8. G says:

    I’ve had Mirena for 3+ months and love it. No side effects other than breakthrough bleeding for the first 6 weeks (and now no periods at all!).

    I felt like the estrogen in the pill (which I was on for neraly 15 years) made me moody. Mirena doesn’t have estrogen so that was a plus for me.

  9. Jen at says:

    As on OB/GYN I can say with certainty that the reason we seem so excited about it when we discuss birth control is that because for the majority of women it works SO wonderfully well! Low failure rate, good for so long, completely reversible, light to no periods. I can speak for myself only, but I even tell patients “I may seem excited about it, but I make no more or less money based on what you choose.” I even tell them I am not getting a kickback from the company so they know! Of course it isn’t for everyone, and like with any method there are side effects, but it really is awesome for very a lot of women. I am glad to see the stats showing it is getting more popular!

  10. Alison says:

    I have the Paraguard and LOVE it. After years of having to remember to take a pill or get a shot or put in a ring or put a lid on it or SOMETHING it is a huge relief to not have to think about it anymore. It pinched going in, but that was a 30 second problem. I’ll take that for 10 years of freedom any time! Plus I love not having any sythentic hormones in my system.

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