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Understanding benefits and addressing misperceptions and barriers to intrauterine device access among populations in the United States

Authors Yoost J

Received 11 March 2014

Accepted for publication 16 April 2014

Published 3 July 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 947—957


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Jennie Yoost

Marshall University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Huntington, WV, USA

Abstract: Three intrauterine devices (IUDs), one copper and two containing the progestin levonorgestrel, are available for use in the United States. IUDs offer higher rates of contraceptive efficacy than nonlong-acting methods, and several studies have demonstrated higher satisfaction rates and continuation rates of any birth control method. This efficacy is not affected by age or parity. The safety of IUDs is well studied, and the risks of pelvic inflammatory disease, perforation, expulsion, and ectopic pregnancy are all of very low incidence. Noncontraceptive benefits include decreased menstrual blood loss, improved dysmenorrhea, improved pelvic pain associated with endometriosis, and protection of the endometrium from hyperplasia. The use of IUDs is accepted in patients with multiple medical problems who may have contraindications to other birth control methods. Yet despite well-published data, concerns and misperceptions still persist, especially among younger populations and nulliparous women. Medical governing bodies advocate for use of IUDs in these populations, as safety and efficacy is unchanged, and IUDs have been shown to decrease unintended pregnancies. Dispersion of accurate information among patients and practitioners is needed to further increase the acceptability and use of IUDs.

Keywords: IUD, contraception, levonorgestrel, copper

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