Raising awareness about birth control options
Published Friday, May 25, 2012 5:14PM MDT
A Calgary doctor is urging women to consider using an IUD after a surprising study on birth control shows that Canadian women tend to choose methods that don't always work.
Dr. Rupinder Mangat from the Northeast Calgary Women's Clinic says many women are not aware of all of the birth control options available to them.
"The most devastating for me is when I see a woman coming in, unplanned pregnancy, she‘s very upset obviously. And when I see those high failure rates, so those 25 abortions per 100 live births, I think, as a healthcare professional, we failed that woman," said Dr. Mangat.
The team at the clinic is now encouraging women to consider IUDs as they are considered the most effective reversible form of birth control.
A recent Canadian study shows women tend to rely on condoms and the pill but neither method is infallible as condoms can break, and pills can be forgotten.
"We know that North American women will typically sort of choose either birth control pill or condom, that seems to be our collective experience so a lot of people don't have experience or don't have awareness around the IUDs," said Dr. Mangat.
Dr Mangat says that based on typical use by 1000 women over one year:
- 850 will get pregnant with no birth control
- 150 will get pregnant using a condom
- 80 will get pregnant using the birth control pill
- 1 to 8 will get pregnant using an IUD
- 5 will get pregnant who have had a tubal ligation
Dr, Mangat says that the IUD is the most effective and that there are three primary risks associated with its use.
- Infection: Sometimes the patient has a pre-existing infection which can be treated before the insertion procedure to reduce the risk.
- Perforation: The IUD can poke through the wall of the uterus if it is not inserted correctly
- Expulsion: some people's bodies reject the IUD and push is out
She says that the IUD offers several advantages:
- It is reversible and can be removed if the woman wants to get pregnant
- Long term and can last up to five years
- Effective and low maintenance
- Contains little or no hormones
An IUD must be inserted by a doctor and costs about $80.