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IUDs Linked To Lower Cervical Cancer Risk: Contraceptive Device Also 99 Percent Effective For Birth Control

11 November 2017, 7:19 am EST By Catherine Isabedra Tech Times
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Use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) not only lowers the incidence of cervical cancer by 30 percent. They are also one of the most effective birth control methods available today.

A recent study showed that women who use an IUD have a lower chance of developing cervical cancer. In the said study, researchers claimed that the device is able to activate an immune response that destroys the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer.

Unwanted Pregnancies In The United States

The Guttmacher Institute previously released a report detailing that in 2011, the United States has 2.8 million unwanted pregnancies, comprising 45 percent of the pregnant population. While the incidence dropped from 51 percent from 2006 to 2010, the numbers remain high compared to most developed countries. Most of the unwanted pregnancies are prevalent among low-income, low-education, and unmarried women.

In recent years, teen pregnancies declined by as much as 20 percent from 2008 to 2011. While the number of teenagers having sex remains high, many of them practice safe sex. CDC reported that from 2011 to 2015, the use of contraceptive among teenagers rose to 81 percent from 74.5 percent in 2002.

IUDs As Birth Control

Since the 1970s, the use of IUDs caused a stigma as a result of one flawed model — the Dalkon Shield, which caused infertility and septic miscarriages. Now, public health officials are trumpeting its efficacy as a birth control method. Proven to be 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancies, experts are keen on recommending its use for various reasons.

In 2015, CDC reported that more women considered the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives, including IUDs. The number of women using IUDs increased by 83 percent from 2006-2010 to 2011-2013.

Unintended pregnancies can result from inappropriate use of contraceptives. Compared with pills, IUDs does not require a prescription. Women do not have to worry about missing a dose or using condoms every time they engage in sexual activity. The device also offers 24-hour protection for three to 12 years depending on the type of IUD. A 2007 research found that women who are on long-acting birth control are highly likely to continue using it and are less likely to have unwanted pregnancies. Another advantage of IUD as a birth control method is its safety for lactating women.

There are five types of IUDs available in the market, with ParaGard as the most effective one. The device is effective as an emergency birth control that can prevent pregnancy when placed within five days after unprotected sex.

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