You may have heard about the ~big~ increases of women wanting to get IUDs — both leading up to Trump's inauguration and since he's officially become President of the United States. And new research shows that half of Millennial women are considering IUDs, according to recent data from WomanCare Global and Evofem Biosciences wherein they surveyed 546 women ages 18 and up.
"There is certainly a great deal of uncertainty around women's rights —particularly women's sexual health and access to affordable contraceptive options for all women," Saundra Pelletier, CEO of Evofem Biosciences and WomanCare Global, tells Bustle. "Rather than panicking, I'd urge women to explore their options, especially women who want to get pregnant within the year. College students or women under 26 who are still on their parents' health insurance should especially consider what makes the most sense for them. It's important to note that IUD popularity and the ability for women to choose the contraceptive method they will use correctly has contributed to the reduction in women seeking abortion. When contraception (that women actually want to use) is made available, we see incredible benefits for women."
ICYMI, why the rush for and urgent interest in IUDs? Of course, they're appealing since they're not only long-lasting — some work up to 10 and 12 years! — but also reversible. Yep, you can get an IUD removed anytime, whether it's because it doesn't agree with you (the side effects and/or the hormones in the hormonal kind) or if you want to start trying to have a baby. Plus, with Trump trying to appeal Obamacare, women want IUDs ~right now~ in case health insurance as they know it is taken away, i.e., Goodbye free or low-cost birth control options. Case in point: If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, an IUD could cost you up to $1,000. In-sane.
"Even before the Trump disaster, an IUD has been, for many women, the best method of contraception in terms of safety, reversibility, and efficacy," Dr. Lauren F. Streicher, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, tells Bustle. "With possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, many women will not have insurance and/or will not have contraception coverage. By getting an IUD now, they will be protected for 3-10 years depending on which one they choose. Possible defunding of Planned Parenthood will make access even more limited. If Roe is overturned, not only will abortion become illegal, but many types of birth control as well (such as IUDs) since far right extremists, such as Mike Pence, put their own personal beliefs above science."
According to the above research, half of Millennial women are considering IUDs, and you can probably see why. Here are more details on that, in addition to other findings from the data that WomanCare Global and Evofem Biosciences collected, too.
1More And More Millennials Want IUDs
The day after the election PP saw a 900% increase in requests for appts to get IUDs. Women know what's covered & who they can count on. #ACA— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) January 6, 2017
According to the research by WomanCare Global and Evofem Biosciences, half of Millennials surveyed contemplated getting an IUD in the past three months. Plus, non-Millennials are more interested in getting IUDs, too — just look at the above tweet! "I have been getting a number of panicked calls from my patients who want IUDs immediately," Sarah Yamaguchi, MD, OB/GYN at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, tells Bustle. "[But] I think it will take time for Trump to change policies, so there is no need to rush into your gyn office. However, I am still going to recommend the best option for contraception, and that may or may not be the IUD."
2More Millennials Are Talking To Their Doctors About IUDs
Yep, the research above found that more Millennials, 32 percent, versus non-Millennials, eight percent, have spoken to their doctors about the birth control options available to them. "Almost all women, including teenagers, now make great candidates for the IUD," Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN and Women's Health Expert, tells Bustle. "European countries have as many as 20 percent of women using IUDs while Americans have only three percent of women using IUDs — even though it has just a one percent failure rate as contraception compared to the nine percent failure rate of the birth control pill. The modern-day IUDs have an excellent safety record and are now commonly recommended to women."
3Many Women Are "Terrified" About The State Of Birth Control Right Now
According to research WomanCare Global and Evofem Biosciences uncovered, many women ages 18 and up reported feeling "terrified" about the current conversations happening around birth control. I don't blame them — do you? However, all is not lost. "Things will not change overnight, and there will be healthcare professionals to help and take care of women irrespective of the changes with the Affordable Care Act or if Planned Parenthood is defunded," Dr. Michael Krychman, Executive Director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine and co-author of The Sexual Spark: 20 Essential Exercises to Reignite the Passion, tells Bustle. "Birth control has always been around since the beginning of time, and I feel strongly that any political party, Democrat, Republican, or Independent, will continue to provide safe effective contraceptive choices for women. If you’re worried, act NOW — do not delay. Schedule an appointment to get all your health care needs addressed, not only contraceptive considerations." Great advice!
Pelletier, too, thinks birth control and options need to be taken seriously. "Since 3.4 million pregnancies are unintended, for people to think about contraception in a blasé way is a huge mistake economically and setting our country back," says Pelletier. "Key to the conversation around this is the fact that unintended pregnancies cost taxpayers $9.4 billion on an annual basis. Access to desired contraception is a critical, successful factor to 'Keep America Great.' The elimination of poverty could be a byproduct of access to safe, affordable contraceptive options, creating smaller family sizes, and positive economic impact."
4More Millennials Are Thinking About Family Planning, Too
Yes, the above data showed that Millennial women, 81 percent, are more likely to believe their partner should know what their family plans are and whether or not they use birth control, 77 percent. Makes sense, right?! "This should be discussed early on," psychologist, image consultant, and dating expert Dr. Jennifer Rhodes tells Bustle. "Exploring all possibilities with an expert will help a couple make healthy decisions about the relationship."
5Millennials Are Not Just Talking About Birth Control With Their Partners
Of course, it may be a given that you should talk to your partner about STDs, but not everyone does so. According to the above data, 78 percent of Millennial women reported that their partner knew the last time they got tested for STDs. Big ups to them. You've probably heard horror stories of someone discovering they got an STD from someone who wasn't honest about their sexual health and history. TBH, however, there's nothing to be ashamed of. With all the free clinics out there doing free STD testing — you can even find free STD testing sites via Tinder! — there's no excuse not to get tested, and then talk about it with your partner.
All in all, with half of Millennial women considering IUDs, birth control is definitely a hot topic that shouldn't be ignored, especially these days, when healthcare access can soon change. How "soon" is the question, but it's best to get educated about IUDs and birth control options in the meantime, since there's no such thing as too much information.