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IUDs 'more effective' emergency contraception than morning after pill


Intrauterine devices (IUDs) provide a more effective method of contraception than the “morning after pill” and should be routinely used instead of it, according to experts.

Research found the “morning after pill” has a higher failure rate than “the coil”, which is a small plastic or copper device placed in the womb by a trained nurse or doctor.

The device, which should be put in place in the five days after unprotected sex, has been used as a method of emergency contraception for 35 years or more.

Eight different forms of IUD were included in the data used by researchers, which covered figures from in excess of 7,000 women. Researchers took into account data from 42 studies between 1979 and 2011 on the emergency use of IUDs in six countries.

The “morning after pill” was found to have a failure rate of between 1% and 3%, while IUDs on the whole did not work in just 0.09% of cases, according to the results in the journal Human Reproduction.

Kelly Cleland, the study’s lead author from Princeton University in the US, said: “Unintended pregnancies are a significant health problem worldwide.

“It is estimated that globally at least 36% of pregnancies are unintended. We already know from previous research that IUDs are very cost-effective forms of regular contraception.”





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  • I trained as a midwife in the hospital that was pioneering ITU's. The idea came from the Nomads inserting a stone into the neck of their camel's uterus to prevent pregnacy. What was't, and probably still isnt, made know to the patient, is that this "foreign body" irritates the Uterus and causes contraction so that the fertilised ovum is expelled before it can embed in the Uterine wall. This is an early abortion, not contraception and can casue heavyier than normal bleeding. But still, the morning after pill does the same thing. Both are not 100% proof and babies have been born with the coil in their possession, I am told! I nursed an old lady who had a tremendous cervical bleed and died, due to the ITU that no one knew about! Not a good idea. No sex without intent to have a baby is best!

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