CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has reported that the use of contraceptives like IUDs and subdermal implants has risen in the past decade.
IUDs are intrauterine devices which are part of the long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) category. Subdermal hormonal implants are also LARCs.
Although in the 1970s, IUDs had been taken off the market due to safety reasons, the device has been redesigned and together with the 5-year contraceptive implants (approved in 1990) they have steadily grew in popularity among women.
An intrauterine device is placed inside the uterus where it constantly releases hormones or copper in order to prevent pregnancies. According to the CDC, IUDs have a lower failure rate (1%) in comparison to the birth control pill. In regards to the latter method, users can sometimes forget to take the pill thus increasing the failure rate to about 9%.
The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported that LARCs weren’t very popular during the 80s. Its usage rate was stable until 2002. Since then, its popularity has risen about 5 times.
There is an increase in the number of women between the ages of 15 and 44 that are using LARCs. If in 2002, there was a 1.5% usage, during 2011 and 2013 it was 7.2% According to the recent data, women between 25 and 34 years old make the majority of LARCs users.
The CDC also found that the probability of women who have given birth at least once, to use LARC was higher compared to those who have never given birth. Furthermore, the difference in usage rates has risen over time.
In terms of race, the number of non-Hispanic white women using LARC has tripled between 2002 and 2006-2010. The number of non-Hispanic black women using LARC has risen 4 times during the same period while the number of Hispanic women using this contraceptive method has decreased.
Despite the increasing popularity of such LARCs, the control pill is still the most frequently used, with 16% of women in the U.S opting for this contraceptive method.
Leading gynecologists from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) consider that the numbers are still too low, as the rate of unintended pregnancies is still high in the U.S.
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