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Keywords:

  • contraception;
  • contraceptive devices: intrauterine;
  • contraceptive devices: medicated;
  • contraceptive devices: unmedicated

ABSTRACT

The United States continues to have one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy and elective abortion in developed countries. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) available today offer women safe and highly effective contraception along with noncontraceptive benefits, yet IUDs remain underutilized in part because of outdated and biased information about the risks associated with this method of fertility control. New research demonstrates that IUD use does not increase the risk of pelvic infections or subsequent infertility. IUD use decreases the absolute risk of ectopic pregnancies. In light of this data, the IUD should be made available to women at low-risk for sexually-transmitted infections and should not be denied to women on the basis of parity or marital status.