Long Acting Reversible Methods more Effective Methods for Birth Control

long acting birth control


A recent study, conducted by researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, and published in the recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, has found that long acting reversible methods of birth control like intra-uterine devices, etc. are far more effective than other methods like birth control pills, the patch or the vaginal ring. Women who depend on the short term methods have a 20% higher chance of landing up with unintended pregnancy.
The study involved 7486 women between the ages of 14 and 45 who did not want to conceive for the next 12 months. All the participants were enrolled in the Contraceptive CHOICE project. They were either not using any form of contraception or were planning to change their contraceptive method. The participants were given the freedom to choose from IUDs, birth control pills, patch, ring or contraceptive injection and were counseled about the advantages and disadvantages of all the forms of contraception. The participants were telephonically interviewed after three months and six months from the beginning of the study. They were thereafter interviewed every six months till the end of the study. They were asked about their birth control method, history of missed periods, and unintentional pregnancy. At the end of the study after three years, the efficacy of the different birth control methods were analyzed. 
During the course of the study, 334 women became pregnant, out of which 156 pregnancies were unintentional and had resulted due to contraceptive failure. Contraceptive failure was reported in 4.55% of cases where women used short term methods like birth control pills, patch, ring or contraceptive injections. Compared to this, only 0.27% of women who used long term reversible methods like IUDs or implants reported contraceptive failure. It was also seen that more women (about 75%) opted for long term reversible methods for birth control when IUDs were provided free of cost. The result clearly shows that more and more women should be counseled to use long term reversible methods of birth control as they are 20 times more effective than other forms of contraception.
  • http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1110855
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
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