What would you do if you unexpectedly became pregnant?
Unplanned pregnancies occur surprisingly frequently, and it does not happen to just teenagers. Besides denial, misconceptions contribute to this naiveté. For instance, many women frequently believe they can’t get pregnant if their partner uses condoms or she’s on the pill. Yet the risk of unintended pregnancy is much higher than realized, 15 and 5% respectively. Contrast this to <1% pregnancy rates with IUDs (intrauterine devices).
IUDs account for 1‑2% of contraceptives used the United States. Whereas it is much higher in most developed countries in the world, such as 24% in Denmark and 17% in Germany. The “hangover” of the Dalkon shield from the 1970’s lives on. In 2001 a landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine disproved the prevailing myth that IUDs cause infection that leads to tubal infertility. Rather, this turned out to be correlated with positive tests for the STD Chlamydia. Consequently the FDA removed restrictions and now allows IUD use in all women, irregardless of childbearing or monogamy status. Likewise past history of pelvic infections or STDs was also removed.
Currently there are two IUDs in America; Paragaurd® which lasts for 10 years and Mirena® which lasts for 5 years. In addition, Mirena® releases a small amount of progesterone hormone that keeps the inside uterine lining thin, which results in lighter menstrual bleeding. This non-contraceptive benefit has been used “off‑label” to treat heavy periods, pelvic pain from endometriosis, and to counteract unopposed estrogenic effects on the uterus for some women using estrogen in menopause or Tamoxifen for breast cancer.
There are many contraceptive options, which gives you freedom to plan when is the best time for you to have children. Schedule a visit and let us help you decide which is the best choice for you now.
Wishing you good health!
Women’s Health Specialists
2299 Mowry Avenue, Suite #3C
Fremont, CA 94538
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