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FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, IL — Today, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri begins offering routine sedation for patients seeking intrauterine device (IUD) insertion and other sexual and reproductive health services at the Fairview Heights health center, allowing patients to determine their own pain management needs while receiving services. 

Statement from Dr. Colleen McNicholas, Chief Medical Officer, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri

“Accessing sexual and reproductive health care shouldn't invoke fear, and getting an IUD, cervical cancer screening, or a vasectomy shouldn't feel traumatizing. Our patients  and patients across the country are raising awareness about their negative experiences, specifically with the IUD insertion process — and are asking for better pain management options. We listened to their needs and are pleased to now offer sedation for our patients who prefer it — one of the few providers offering this care routinely in the outpatient setting.”

“Sexual and reproductive health care services can make patients feel vulnerable, anxious, and fearful, and in some cases, resurrect prior negative or traumatic experiences. Truly centering patients requires a trauma-informed approach to care. We’re offering sedation to give patients a greater sense of power and control over their bodies and their care. As always, we’ll do everything we can to ensure our patients get the quality, affirming, affordable health care they want and need.”

Over the last two decades, IUDs have become an increasingly popular form of birth control due to their long-term effectiveness, ease of use, and their many noncontraceptive benefits, including lighter or shorter periods and cancer prevention. According to the CDC, 20% of women began using an IUD as their preferred contraceptive method between 2015 and 2019, but the IUD insertion or removal process can be uncomfortable or even painful for some patients. In one study of top TikTok videos highlighting patients’ experiences with IUD insertion, 97% complained of pain. In another study, 78% of women reported IUD insertion pain as moderate to severe.

In addition to IUD insertion and removal, intravenous (IV) sedation is available upon request to accompany services such as cervical cancer screening, vasectomy, colposcopy or LEEP procedures, and uterine biopsy. 

For over 90 years, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri has provided high-quality sexual and reproductive health care and continues to innovate and expand service offerings to meet patient needs. Over the last several years, Planned Parenthood has offered out gender-affirming care, created a Regional Logistics Center that provides logistical support to overcome barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health care, opened a new health center in Rolla, MO, and provided free vasectomies to people who are uninsured or underinsured for World Vasectomy Day.

To make an appointment, patients can call 618-277-6668.


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