In recent years, intrauterine devices (IUDs) have been gaining popularity as a long-acting and highly effective form of contraception. A quick look at the growing IUD market explains this very fact.
Yahoo Finance reports that the global IUD market is currently valued at $4.1 billion. By 2030, this market is expected to cross the $7 billion mark. Had IUDs not been popular, this high market value would’ve been difficult to achieve.
Despite their proven efficacy and convenience, a significant number of women remain hesitant or even averse to using IUDs. Understanding the reasons behind this reluctance is crucial for healthcare professionals and policymakers. That way, they can ensure that women have access to a diverse range of contraceptive options that align with their preferences and needs.
In this article, we look into a few common reasons why many women may harbor reservations about IUDs.
#1 Fear of Pain and Discomfort
While the procedure is relatively quick, some women report experiencing intense cramping or discomfort during and after IUD insertion. The fear of pain can be a significant deterrent, especially for those who have not given birth. That’s because the cervix may be tighter and the process more uncomfortable.
Besides, as seen in the Paragard IUD lawsuit, some IUDs tend to break upon removal. This type of breakage can lead to severe complications in the uterus. Hence, many women have to deal with this fear as well.
According to TorHoerman Law, the Paragard IUD lawsuits were filed against Teva Pharmaceuticals – manufacturers of the Paragard IUD. These lawsuits aim to secure compensation for the losses faced by the Paragard victims.
The Paragard cases instill fear in the minds of many women. Therefore, healthcare providers play a crucial role in addressing this concern by providing thorough counseling. They can explain the procedure in detail and discuss pain management options such as taking pain relievers prior to insertion.
#2 Misinformation and Myths
A pervasive barrier to IUD acceptance is the prevalence of misinformation and myths surrounding these devices. Rumors about IUDs causing infertility or getting lost in the uterus are common misconceptions that can contribute to anxiety and fear.
Healthcare providers must take the lead in dispelling these myths, emphasizing the safety and reversibility of IUD use. Clear and accessible information campaigns can further contribute to debunking falsehoods. This can empower women to make informed decisions about their contraceptive choices.
#3 Perceived Side Effects
Concerns about potential side effects can contribute to the apprehension surrounding IUDs.
Some women worry about the impact on their menstrual cycle, citing increased bleeding or irregular periods. As reported by Healthline, hormonal IUDs can make your periods lighter. In fact, some people might not get their periods at all while using these IUDs. Copper IUDs, on the other hand, might make your periods heavier. Of course, this change is not permanent and your period will likely return to its normal state after six months or so.
Also, hormonal IUDs may cause mood swings or other hormonal changes, which can be unsettling for those sensitive to such fluctuations. Educating women about the variability in side effects and the fact that they often subside after the initial adjustment period is crucial.
#4 Concerns About Expulsion
The risk of IUD expulsion, where the device comes out of the uterus, is another factor that deters women from choosing this contraceptive method. While the likelihood of expulsion is low, it is not entirely absent.
Some women fear the possibility of not realizing the IUD has been expelled, leaving them unprotected against unintended pregnancies. Addressing this concern requires thorough counseling on the signs of expulsion and regular check-ups to ensure the device remains in place. Highlighting the relatively rare occurrence of expulsion compared to the overall effectiveness of IUDs may also help alleviate this apprehension.
#5 Access and Affordability
The availability and cost of IUDs can be significant barriers, particularly for women in lower-income communities. Access to healthcare services, including family planning resources, varies widely, and financial constraints may limit women’s choices.
Additionally, the upfront cost of IUDs and the potential expenses associated with insertion can be intimidating. As reported by Health.com, IUDs can cost between $400 and $1,000. The cost of insertion or removal falls between $125 and $400.
Policymakers and healthcare providers need to work towards increasing access to affordable contraception. This will ensure that women from all socio-economic backgrounds can make choices based on their preferences rather than financial constraints.
In summary, IUDs offer a highly effective and long-term contraceptive solution. However, it is essential to acknowledge and address the multifaceted reasons above as to why some women are hesitant to embrace this method.
Healthcare providers, policymakers, and educators play pivotal roles in dispelling myths. They can provide accurate information and address concerns to ensure that women have access to a diverse range of contraceptive options. This way, we can empower women to make choices that align with their individual needs and preferences, ultimately promoting reproductive autonomy and well-being.