Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Debunking a myth: IUDs proven safe birth control for teenagers

Date:
April 8, 2013
Source:
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Summary:
Intrauterine devices are as safe for teenagers -- including those who have never given birth -- as they are for adults, according to new research.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are as safe for teenagers -- including those who have never given birth -- as they are for adults, according to research from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the findings disprove concerns that have persisted for more than 30 years, since the removal of a harmful IUD from the market in the 1970's, and open the door for many more women -- teens included -- to benefit from the highly effective, long-lasting form of contraception.

"Today's IUDs are not the same as the ones that existed decades ago and are undeserving of the outdated stigma they carry," said lead author Dr. Abbey Berenson, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health at UTMB. "Modern IUDs are safe, cost-effective and provide years of worry-free birth control. Though more research is needed, this study shows that IUDs should be among the options considered to address teen pregnancy rates."

The researchers used private insurance claims from approximately 90,000 IUD users ages 15 to 44 to examine complications, failures and discontinuation rates. Results were compared by age and type of IUD -- hormonal (LNG-IUS) and copper (CuT380A). Specifically, they sought to investigate whether teenage IUD users were more likely to experience such complications as dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), amenorrhea (very light to no menstruation) or IUD failure. Among the major findings:

  • Serious complications resulting from the IUD, including ectopic pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease, occurred in less than one percent of women regardless of age;
  • Early discontinuation did not differ between teenagers and older women, inferring that the IUD was not associated with greater complications among this age group; and
  • Hormonal IUDs were associated with fewer complications and lower rates of discontinuation than copper IUDs in all age groups.

IUDs have evolved significantly since the 1970s, when a popular IUD known as the Dalkon Shield was found to have grave side effects, including bacterial infections, septic miscarriages and even death. However, a pervasive stigma against IUDs has persisted among physicians and patients. The devices are recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), but many clinicians remain especially reluctant to prescribe them to teens for fear of serious complications -- specifically the rare risk of infertility caused by IUD-related pelvic inflammatory disease.

"An IUD is a virtually effortless form of contraception, as it doesn't require remembering to take a pill at the same time each day," said Berenson. "Thus, increasing young women's access to this effective birth control could have a tremendous impact on reducing unintended pregnancies."

Other authors who contributed to the study include: Dr. Alai Tan, assistant professor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health; Dr. Jacqueline Hirth, assistant professor at CIRWH; and Dr. Gregg Wilkinson, professor of epidemiology, Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health and senior fellow, CIRWH. Funding support came from the Society of Family Planning. In addition, federal support was provided by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Abbey B. Berenson, Alai Tan, Jacqueline M. Hirth, Gregg S. Wilkinson. Complications and Continuation of Intrauterine Device Use Among Commercially Insured Teenagers. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2013; DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31828b63a0

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Debunking a myth: IUDs proven safe birth control for teenagers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408184509.htm>.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2013, April 8). Debunking a myth: IUDs proven safe birth control for teenagers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408184509.htm
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Debunking a myth: IUDs proven safe birth control for teenagers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408184509.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins