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Print Posted on 12/12/2016 in IUDs in the News

Getting an IUD isn't as easy as you think. Here's why.

Getting an IUD isn't as easy as you think. Here's why.

We've all seen the articles urging women to get IUDs before Trump takes office and repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In fact, we've written one as well. But for those who haven't seen the sudden rush to get IUDs, the reason for it is that the ACA completely covers birth control, with only a few exceptions

If you are insured, in other words, you can most likely get birth control to last beyond Trump's presidency for free. If you wait, however, and the ACA is repealed, the most effective birth control methods might cost you over $500. Tweet: If you wait, however, and the ACA is repealed, the most effective birth control methods might cost you over $500.

Of course, it's not as if birth control prices will skyrocket on day one of Trump's presidency - it'll take time for the wheels of the ACA to stop in full. With a bill that large, there's a certain amount of inertia that can't be overcome with a single executive order or congressional vote, thankfully. 

But still, it doesn't hurt to play it safe and get an IUD or implant now, right? Unfortunately, it's not as simple as strolling up to the local OBGYN and asking for a free Mirena. Tweet: Unfortunately, it's not as simple as strolling up to the local OBGYN and asking for a free Mirena.

A new article from the Brookings Institute outlines this in detail.

As the authors of the article point out, there are several reasons why women can't get an IUD, even with the ACA in place. Let's go over them:

1. Despite the law's intent, coverage for birth control is not universal. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, for example, found that "there is variation in how the contraceptive coverage provision is being interpreted and implemented by health plans. " Regarding the IUD specifically, the study found that only half of the carriers reviewed by the Foundation covered all types of IUDs, while others covered only certain brands.

birth control coverage by insurances

via Kaiser Family Foundation

2. Only half of all obstetricians and gynecologists even offer the IUD or implant, due to lack of training and provider knowledge. Furthermore, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the OBGYNs that do offer them use "overly restrictive criteria" when evaluating whether a patient is eligible to get one.

3. Many women are misinformed about the safety and efficacy of long-acting reversible contraception, according to a study by the Urban Institute. Here were the takeaways:

  • Only 31 percent of those women had heard a lot about two more-effective methods, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants.
  • Less than half of women viewed IUDs as very effective at preventing pregnancy, and even less—37 percent—viewed implants as very effective.
  • More than one in five women were unsure of the safety of IUDs or implants.
  • Women with knowledge gaps about IUDs and implants were more likely to be nonwhite, non-Hispanic, low income, and single and to have never been pregnant.

Thankfully, efforts to properly inform the public about the IUD and implant are finally ramping up (including our efforts at IUD.com!). We hope that in the near future, most women will understand how safe and effective LARCs really are.

But in the meantime, spread the word and help us reduce these barriers! Let women know that they can find and review doctors who offer the IUD at our homepage, as well as learn about the IUD's costs, side effects, and more! In fact, here's an infographic we created that outlines the whole process of getting an IUD, which we hope you can share with others:

Getting an IUD


And, as always, feel free to share on social media and comment below! Thanks for reading   

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