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Wall Street Journal Examines Rising Popularity of Intrauterine Devices

Kaisernetwork.org
Daily Reproductive Health Report
August 4, 2004

The Wall Street Journal examined the rising popularity of intrauterine devices for long-term, reversible contraception. Although IUDs were linked to thousands of cases of uterine infections and dozens of deaths in the 1970s, newly designed IUDs -- which consist of a piece of plastic inserted into the uterus by a doctor -- are "enticing" many women back to this contraception option, according to the Journal. New IUDs are easier to insert; are less conducive to uterine infection; are less expensive "in the long run" than oral contraceptives; and do not require a woman to remember to take a pill. However, some women using IUDs may experience pelvic inflammatory disease, inflammation of the fallopian tubes or ectopic pregnancy, according to the Journal. In addition, IUDs do not offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases. IUDs are the most popular form of contraception -- other than sterilization -- with 85 million women using them, according to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (Glassberg, Wall Street Journal, 8/3).

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