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Study confirms the safety of IUDs

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

While there are several forms of contraceptives that can help protect against pregnancy, only condoms can reduce the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. This is why women who use other types of contraceptives like the birth control pill or an intrauterine device should be sure to regularly use STD testing services to make sure that they do not have an infection or virus. In the past, there had been some speculation regarding whether IUDs are safe for teenagers to use. According to a recent study - the answer is yes.

Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston discovered that despite long-standing concerns, teenagers can use IUDs as safely as adults can.

Debunking myths
According to the scientists, over the past 30 years many people believed that only adult women who have given birth should use an IUD. This was after an unsafe IUD was removed from the market in the 1970s. However, the researchers explained that modern IUDs are much safer than their earlier counterparts.

"Today's IUDs are not the same as the ones that existed decades ago and are undeserving of the outdated stigma they carry," said lead author Abbey Berenson, M.D.,director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health at UTMB.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."

To come to their conclusions, the scientists examined insurance claims from approximately 90,000 IUD users between the ages of 15 and 44. They found that serious complications occurred in less than 1 percent of women of all ages.

Furthermore, premature discontinuation was the same between teenagers and older women. This suggests that younger women were not more likely to have trouble with the IUD than older ones.

Why use an IUD
The National Women's Health Network explains that IUDs can effectively prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years, which is why women who do not want to have children for many years may want to choose this contraceptive.

Berenson added that since an IUD remains a woman's body, she doesn't have to remember to take a pill every day, which may make them more effective.

However, it's important to note that IUDs do not protect against STDs, so women who use this device should still get tested often.

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