IUDs Like Mirena “Safe for Adolescents,” Doctors Group Suggests
Teenage girls seeking long-acting protection against pregnancy have been encouraged by a doctors group in the U.S. to consider the Mirena IUD and other implants, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
The article notes a recent statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics that these devices, which are referred to as long-acting, reversible contraceptives, or LARCs, “are safe for adolescents,” and have come a long way since the recalled Dalkon shield of the 1970s. ““Pediatricians should be familiar with counseling, insertion and /or referral for LARCs,’ they said publicly on September 29.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette goes on to reflect on a recommendation from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists two years ago that refers to the devices as “the best and safest form” of birth control. Many young girls continue to consider birth control pills and condoms over IUDs like Mirena, however, which are significantly less expensive. Some family planning service providers believe the AAP’s recent IUD recommendation will further grow their popularity among adolescents.
Mirena IUD Use in Young Girls Grows Significantly in 10 Years, Study Suggests
The director of public policy for the Guttmacher Institute, a family planning research center, went on record saying she was optimistic about the IUD’s increased popularity. She predicts that the group’s recent advice “will be a great help,” and “change the minds of the provider community, more of who are recognizing that adolescents are appropriate users for the IUD.” According to research provided by Guttmacher, IUD usage in women has increased substantially in recent years. From 2002 to 2009, the proportion grew from 2.4 percent to 8.5 percent. Among adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 19, the proportion grew from less than 1 percent to 4.5 percent. Planned Parenthood has also fielded more IUD requests over the past decade. In 2002, three women opted for a LARC; and in 2012, 760 women received one.
With the increased popularity of IUDs and other implants, however, one may wonder if that translates to more women experiencing side effects. The Mirena IUD, which is manufactured by Bayer Healthcare Pharmacueticals, has been suggested to spontaneously migrate away from the uterus and into other parts of the body, perforating the uterus and causing a series of painful and debilitating complications. These injuries have been alleged in thousands of Mirena lawsuits against its manufacturer.
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