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The Intrauterine Device: Rethinking Old Paradigms


  • Katherine W. Morgan MS, WHNP, ANP

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Katherine Morgan, MS, WHNP, is currently Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Nurse-Midwifery and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Graduate Program at the University of Utah College of Nursing. She practices at Birth Care Health Care and at Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

University of Utah College of Nursing, 10 South 2000 East, Salt lake City, UT 84112. E-mail:


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highly effective contraception along with noncontraceptive benefits, yet IUDs remain underutilized in part because of outdated and biased information about the risks associated with this method of fertility control.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.