More Ladies Are Using Long-Term Birth Control, Researchers Say

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More American women are using effective, long-term contraceptives -- namely, intrauterine devices (IUDs) -- a new Guttmacher Institute study indicates.

IUDs are implanted in a woman's uterus and can prevent birth for up to 10 years and tend to have a one percent or less annual pregnancy rate, meaning they're one of the most effective contraceptives on the market.

The only problem?

The ladies who could benefit most don't seem to be using them.

As detailed by Healthwatch, 8.5 percent of U.S. women who used contraception in 2009 chose IUDs -- "up from 3.7 percent in 2007 and 2.4 percent in 2002."

However, most IUD users are already older than the average age for birthing a first child.

"The average age at first sex is around 17, and the average age at first birth close to 25. As a result, the period during which women are at risk for unplanned pregnancy is much longer than it used to be," said Dr. Lawrence Finer, study author.

"Young women in particular, the group at highest risk of unintended pregnancy, could benefit greatly from these highly effective contraceptive methods, which protect them over a much longer period and which require virtually no user intervention."

Today's news comes shortly after reports revealed that the birth control pill is 20 times less effective than an IUD.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.

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