Offering same-day insertion of IUDs could further their popularity, a recent study finds, but may also lead to more Mirena lawsuit filings.
According to new research in Contraception, women who are educated about intrauterine birth control devices on the same day they are seeking emergency pregnancy-prevention at a health care clinic are more likely to opt for an IUD as their method of birth control.
The study was led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who looked at the outcomes of women who sought contraception at an inner-city clinic eight months before and 21 months after it started offering structured counseling about pregnancy prevention and offering same-day placement of the Mirena IUD or a similar device. Here’s what they found: after the clinic started counseling women on contraception, the number of women who started practicing birth control increased by 14 percent. Electronic medical records later showed that 11 percent of all women who went into the clinic for emergency contraception opted for same-day IUD placement, and 88 percent continued use after three months. Meanwhile, 80 percent of visitors kept using the IUD 21 months later.
According to the study’s lead author, a director of the women’s health services research unit at the Center for Research on Health Care, Pitt School of Medicine, the results are a reflection on the importance of IUD education.
“Women seeking emergency contraception, who are at very high risk of undesired pregnancy, deserve clear information about the most effective contraceptives available,” she said.
But what about information related to the alleged side effects that may stem from use of Mirena and other IUDs? There are currently more than a thousand lawsuits over this birth control implant now filed in the U.S. on behalf of women who allegedly suffered spontaneous migration of the device, as well as uterine perforations, organ damage, ectopic pregnancy and other injuries. 484 of these Mirena lawsuits are now pending in a federal IUD litigation established in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York and similarly name Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals as defendant. Meanwhile, a total of 703 cases alleging injuries caused by the device have been centralized in New Jersey’s Bergen County Superior Court for pretrial proceedings.