IUDs & Implants Recommended Most Effective
The most effective and advanced forms of birth control sound downright medieval. But, hey, if it means not having spawn before we're ready, we'd almost take the iron maiden.
IUDs (intrauterine devices), which release copper or progestin, and contraceptive skin implants, which are inserted beneath the skin of the arm and also release progestin, are being recommended as the most effective type of reversible contraceptive according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The ACOG report emphasizes the safety of these devices as well as their efficacy.
Compared to other forms of contraception, like birth control pills or condoms, IUDs and implants have lower rates of unplanned pregnancy associated with their use. Approximately 0.8 percent of U.S. women using a copper IUD and 0.2 percent using the progestin IUD had unplanned pregnancies within a year, whereas 9 percent of women on the pill and 2 percent of women using condoms had unplanned pregnancies in a year. By far the most effective was the skin implants, where the rate of unplanned pregnancy over the course of a year was 0.05 percent. Let's take it back a notch and reiterate something for you, ladies: Only 2 out of 100 women using condoms gets pregnant (assuming she correctly uses them every time she has sex) while 9 out 100 women on the pill do. Yikes. Big time yikes.
Additionally, contraceptive methods such as IUDs or implants are far lower maintenance than condoms or the pill, because they require no upkeep and last for a long time. The skin implant works for three years, the hormonal IUD works for five years, and the copper IUD works for approximately 10 years. Once they're in, you barely have to think about them... that's what she said.
But before you knock down your gyno's door to get implanted with one of these contraceptives, it's important to mention some of their side effects. The implant can cause irregular menstrual bleeding, as well as mild insulin resistance. All kinds of hormonal contraceptives have also been linked to acne and weight gain. The hormonal IUD has been linked to lighter periods, whereas the copper IUD has been linked to heavier menstrual bleeding and cramping, although this effect may diminish over time. Additionally, IUDs have traditionally been associated with an increased risk for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can cause infertility (available evidence, however, suggests that the association is unfounded). And in 1 of 1,000 cases, ACOG reports that an IUD can break through the wall of the uterus, in which case it needs to be removed and surgery may be required.
Another potential deterrent to using IUDs and implants: cost. IUDs can cost from $500 (the copper IUD) to $800 (the hormonal IUD) for the device alone, while implantation costs between $400 and $800. It sounds expensive, but the Pill adds up too--and so do condoms (depending on how racy your sex life is).
If you ask us, years of reduced panic around period time: priceless.
Source: "IUDs, implants advocated for birth control." Reuters. Retrieved from .