Most women misunderstand IUD birth control
A medical worker explains a family planning method using the Intra Uterine device to housewives in a local government health centre in Navotas, Metro Manil (Erik de Castro, Reuters)
According to a 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28 percent of women of reproductive age use oral contraception, making the Pill the most common form of birth control, followed closely by sterilization methods like getting the fallopian tubes "tied," used by 27 percent of women.
The same CDC study found that IUD use had risen from 0.8 percent of reproductive-age women in 1995 to 5.6 percent in 2010.
To correct widespread misconceptions about IUDs, Allen said, health care providers should be encouraged to talk to their patients about the devices.
Among women who have never used an IUD, Callagari's study found that those who had been counseled about the device by a health care provider were more knowledgeable than women who hadn't discussed it.
"I think it helps to give more evidence that providers should be talking with patients about IUDs," she told Reuters Health. "Women hear it and it affects their perceptions."
Providers themselves might need to be educated too, however.
One recent survey of physicians found that 30 percent had outdated ideas about IUDs, including thinking they are unsafe for women who had never had a baby or being unsure about their safety (see Reuters Health story of March 28, 2012 here: http://reut.rs/HhJ0dH).
"We need to educate more primary care providers about the facts about IUDs so that they can counsel their patients," said Allen.
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/XP6lK8 Contraception, online February 18, 2013.