The most effective form of birth control, at 20 times the effectivity of the pill, patch or ring, is the IUD. The IUD is a form of long-acting reversible contraceptive that requires no upkeep after insertion, with most lasting three to ten years. However, according to a recent CDC study, only 5 percent of women aged 15-24 use LARCs as their primary form of birth control, while more than twice as many women use failure-prone methods such as the pill or female sterilization.
It comes as a surprise that LARCs are still so uncommon. This is partly the fault of the pediatric and general practice physicians who are unequipped to work with teens. The majority of pediatricians are completely unequipped to handle a patient’s request for an IUD or other forms of LARCs. An IUD insertion requires extensive training and certification, so they instead recommend something well-known and easy to prescribe, such as the pill. This does an incredible disservice to those who presume they are receiving top quality medical care. Not only are the pill and other alternatives are not only less effective, but they can cause unwanted hormonal changes and cost more in the long term. Pills also require patients to take an active role in ensuring their effectiveness.
Even if a pediatrician does refer the patient to a trained gynecologist, many teenagers are too frightened by the possibility of a birth control-related statement being found on their parents’ health insurance bill to follow through with the process. This frequently leads to teenagers settling for a less effective form of birth control, which many of them will grow used to and satisfied with, causing some to willingly pass up the chance to change to a LARC when given the opportunity. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a culture where women accept less effective birth control as the norm.
The fear of accidental pregnancy should not be allowed to lurk in the corner of a woman’s mind during every sexual encounter she has. Women should not have to fret over the possibility that their pill, patch or ring will fail by freak chance or simple human error — not if we want to have true sexual freedom. Women deserve the freedom to enjoy sex without fear — the only way they will achieve true sexual freedom is through socially and medically accessible LARCs.
This post is a copy of the original article from WSN, which can be seen here.