IUD shown to be the most effective contraceptive
There are a number of different methods of birth control on the market, each with its own benefits and drawbacks – except for abstinence, of course, which comes without cons as it is the only surefire way to keep unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases at bay.
Recently, researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine determined that the intrauterine device (IUD) and hormonal implants may be among the most reliable methods of birth control, as it beat out the pill, ring and patch in a study.
The team examined the rates of unplanned pregnancies among women who were 21 years old and younger. They found that because the efficacy of the pill, ring and patch relied heavily upon the individual's self-administering the contraceptives properly, the methods were less effective than an IUD or implant, which are both implanted and removed by a healthcare provider.
"We know that IUDs and implants have very low failure rates - less than 1 percent," said lead author Brooke Winner, M.D. "But although IUDs are very effective and have been proven safe in women and adolescents, they only are chosen by 5.5 percent of women in the United States who use contraception."
The study authors suggested that a more prevalent use of IUDs and implants among young women may help curb the rate of unwanted pregnancy in the U.S., which currently stands at about 3 million per year.
However, just because the devices and implants have been shown to be effective doesn't make them right for everyone. Women should talk to their doctors about all of their contraception options in order to choose what's most appropriate for them. Additionally, they should keep in mind that hormonal contraceptives do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.