IUD for New Mothers Reduces Unintended Pregnancies

From the WebMD Archives

June 9, 2015 -- Giving new mothers an intrauterine device (IUD) at childbirth can help reduce unintended pregnancies, a new study says.

Typically, new mothers are told to wait six weeks before they see their doctor about birth control, but half have resumed having sex by then, according to The New York Times.

This study included 112 women who were giving birth and wanted an IUD. Eighty-three percent of those who received an IUD during their c-sections were still using the birth control devices six months later, compared with 64 percent of those who were told to get an IUD at a separate doctor's office visit six weeks after giving birth.

The findings were published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Providing IUDs to new mothers at the time of birth could reduce unintended pregnancies and the number of babies conceived within 18 months after a woman gives birth, which would lower the risk of problems such as premature birth, according to study lead author Dr. Erika Levi, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, and colleagues.

Levi noted that the months following childbirth are "an intense, busy, hard time for most women," The Times reported.

"We need to make it easier for women to get access to the kind of contraception they want as new mothers," Levi said.

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