ALBANY, NY: Published yesterday in Contraception, the official journal of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and the Society of Family Planning shows four in ten family planning providers use IUDs as their personal birth control method. In "Differences in Contraceptive Use Between Family Planning Providers and the U.S. Population: Results of a Nationwide Survey," researchers at Planned Parenthood Federation of America surveyed a sample of nearly 500 female U.S. women’s health care providers ages 25–44 and found that 42 percent of women’s health care providers use a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) method like intrauterine devices (IUDs), compared to just 12 percent of women in the general population. This study shows that when it comes to their personal health care decisions, women’s health care providers are three and a half times more likely to choose IUDs and implants, which are the most effective reversible forms of contraception.
The use of IUDs and implants have increased nearly fivefold in the last decade among women ages 15-44, from 1.5 percent in 2002 to 7.2 percent in 2011-2013. Nationally, IUDs and implants now represent the third most commonly used category of reversible contraceptives among women ages 25-44, after the pill (19 percent) and condom (13 percent), and over the last five years, Planned Parenthood health centers have seen a 91 percent increase in the use of IUDs and implants.
Locally, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood has had a 10% increase in LARCs in 2014 in three local health centers. “Mirroring the national trend, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood has seen a steady increase in the use of LARCs and in 2014, 21% of our female patients left with a LARC method of birth control compared to only .8% in 2012. A growing body of evidence that when women who want to prevent unintended pregnancy are empowered with full information about their contraceptive options — and when barriers such as up-front, out-of-pocket costs are not a factor — they often decide to use the most effective methods,” says Chelly Hegan, President/CEO of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood.
With a 99 percent effectiveness rate, IUDs and implants are a great option for women who want to preserve their fertility but also desire long-term, highly effective pregnancy prevention. IUDs and implants are safe and highly effective birth control options for women of all ages, from young women who have not had children to women in their fifties who haven’t yet experienced menopause.
Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization serving Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer counties. Each year, nearly 6,500 patients make more than 10,000 visits to UHPP’s health centers in Albany, Hudson and Troy. UHPP offers a wide range of reproductive health services, including annual GYN exams, PAP tests, breast exams and self-exam instruction, colposcopy, cryosurgery, STI testing and treatment.