IUDs and contraceptive implants – also known as long-acting reversible contraception -. They are known to be more effective than condoms or the pill
Forty Planned Parenthood centers throughout the US and 1,500 women between the ages of 18 and 25 years participated in the study, published in The Lancet . The authors say the study is the first randomized trial of an intervention based on the clinic to address the problem of unwanted pregnancies, which account for about half of all pregnancies in the country.
Although intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants – also known as long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) – are known to be more effective than condoms or the pill, health providers do not routinely include contraceptive counseling.
This despite the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended since 2009 that the LARC methods should be used as first-line contraceptive for most women, because of their safety and high efficiency.
Previous surveys have shown that simply:
- 38% of physicians in the US offer LARCs adolescents
- 53% offer them to childless women
- 25% they offered to women after an abortion.
In the new study, half of the health centers were randomized to receive training in counseling LARC, while the other half continued delivering his usual care plan. Women participating in the study were all who receive contraceptive counseling because they do not want to become pregnant in the next 12 months.
Less than 1% of users LARC become pregnant during the course of a year
Workers trained health LARC informed advice women less than 1% of women using LARCs become pregnant during the course of a year, compared with 9% of women taking the pill and 18% of women whose male partners use condoms.
Overall, 71% of health workers randomly intervention LARC methods discussed with patients, compared with 39% of health workers in the control group. The researchers found that 28% of women in the intervention group chose LARC methods, compared with 17% in the intervention group.
Among women who attended Planned Parenthood clinics seeking family planning services after this training, unwanted pregnancies fell from 15 to 8 per 100 women over the course of a year.
Given that the intervention shows what appears to be a clear benefit for LARC methods, why are not most recommended routinely in health care?
The study authors point out that LARCs are expensive, and almost 38% of women in the study had no health insurance. However, although the implant devices can cost up to $ 1,000, the authors note that these methods is cheaper than the pill with time because they do not need to be replenished.
Carolyn Westhoff Dr., senior medical adviser to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said of the results:
“This study shows how important it is that providers of health care women have full information about available birth control methods and are able to provide all of these methods to patients in the same visit . it is a very important part of making sure that women can have the birth control of their choice – without any barriers. ”
Last year, a study conducted in the UK and published in International Journal of Women’s Health found a correlation between a decrease in teenage pregnancies under 18 between 1998 and 2011 (46.6 of 30.7 to 1,000 women) and 89.7% increase in the use LARC during the same period.