Because of the Dalkon Shield. In 1971, an IUD called the Dalkon Shield was marketed nationally. At this time, no government regulation of medical devices existed, and no laws were in place to prove medical efficacy. Because of this lack of regulation, Dalkon Shield IUDs were poorly and inconsistently designed, and never tested before implanted into over 2 million women. Many complications occurred, ultimately leading to 17 deaths and thousands of women left infertile or chronically ill. And even though IUDs like the Lippes Loop and Copper T-200 were available, the media heavily publicized studies that showed the dangers of the Dalkon Shield. According to this CDC report, women using the Dalkon Shield were found to have a five-fold increase in risk for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease compared to women using other IUDs.
Here's the thing- that was the 1970s. According to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, IUDs are the most effective reversible contraceptives available, are available and safe (many improvements from earlier versions [Dalkon Shield]) for women of all reproductive ages, and complications are rare. IUDs are inserted by a physician one time, they last for five to ten years depending on which IUD you choose, and are removed by a physician. (IUDs can also be taken out by a physician before these time frames in the event that you want to become pregnant.) Compare this to methods like birth control pills which must be taken once per day by the user at the same time to keep their high efficacy rate; that's burdensome! The fact is, birth control methods that take less human effort are the most effective. Here are your choices for IUDs today:
Paragard is a non-hormonal IUD that prevents pregnancy by preventing sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg. This method last for 10 years. People who choose Paragard may experience heavier and longer periods. IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted infections, and it is important to use condoms until you and your partner have been tested.
Mirena is a hormonal IUD that prevents pregnancy by thickening cervical mucus, inhibiting sperm from reaching an egg, and by thinning the lining of your uterus. This method lasts for 5 years. People who choose Mirena may experience irregular periods, shorter periods, or not having a period at all. IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted infections, and it is important to use condoms until you and your partner have been tested.
An IUD may not be the right option for you, and I encourage you to explore all of your options by visiting Bedsider.