What’s an IUD?
IUDs are small T-shaped devices that are inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. The two types available on the market are the copper IUD, a nonhormonal device that turns your uterus into a place sperm just don’t want to be, and the Mirena, which prevents pregnancy by releasing small amounts of the hormone progestin. Their use among Canadian women who use birth control rose from 1.5 per cent in 2003 to 2.3 per cent in 2009 (most recent data available). While that may not seem like a huge jump, health-care practitioners are fielding many more requests for IUDs.
"We are certainly seeing an increase in demand [for IUDs], especially over the last few years," says Nicole Pasquino, a registered nurse and the director of clinical services at British Columbia’s Options For Sexual Health (OPT) clinic. There have been so many requests that the OPT clinic in Vancouver has started offering IUD-only services once a week, and Pasquino says there’s always a waiting list.
5 reasons why IUDs are making a comeback
Why are a growing number of women turning to this form of birth control? Here are five reasons why IUDs are making a comeback.
IUDs got a bad rap in the 1970s because a particular brand called the Dalkon Shield was associated with pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. It was subsequently pulled from the Canadian market.
"The products that were out in the 1970s and the products that are available today are completely different," says Pasquino, adding that research shows current IUDs are safe to use for most women. (All medications carry some risk, so talk to your doctor about whether an IUD is right for you.)
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