A new study published on June 16 in the Journal “The Lancet” reveals that birth control counseling could reduce accidental pregnancy by 50 percent.
Women are more familiarized with widely-used contraceptive methods such as condoms or contraceptive pills, but new research shows that there are better ways to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
“There has been heavy reliance within the United States on the capsule and condoms for younger individuals. It’s straightforward for individuals to overlook to make use of these strategies, which may result in accidental pregnancies,” said Cynthia Harper, PhD, who is a professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences working at the U.S. Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health.
Thus, 1,500 women aged 15 to 25 years old were engaged in the study. They were all seeking pregnancy control. The study lasted 12 months.
The researchers also involved 40 Planned Parenthood health centers all over the country. They trained the staff in half of these centers to recommend women who seek birth control to recommend intrauterine devices (IUDs) and progestin implants. The other half recommended the same pregnancy control methods as usual.
Out of the trained staff, 71 percent recommended IUD and implants and 28 percent of the women chose them, while only 39 percent of the staff who did not benefit from any training suggested these methods and 17 percent of the women from the targeted age group took it.
Moreover, the study revealed that the rate of unwanted pregnancies was 8 percent for the women who attended the clinic where the staff received the training and 15 percent among those who went to the other clinics at the end of the year.
IUDs present both advantages and disadvantages, according to the researchers. For example, it is advisable for women who smoke to chose IUDs and implants because contraceptive pills can increase the risk of stroke or blood clots. However, IUDs and implants can lead to irregular menstrual bleeding.
It is extremely important that the women are informed about the best contraceptive methods available. This is why they should seek counseling if they want to avoid an accidental pregnancy.
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