Free contraception may prevent abortions
Researchers say the IUD, a form of contraception that can last up to 10 years, is more effective than short-term options.
October 4th, 2012
07:51 PM ET

Free contraception may prevent abortions

Contraception includes condoms and birth control pills, but there are other, longer-term methods that are effective and reversible: Intrauterine devices and implants.

A new study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology set out to see what would happen if these methods were given out at no cost. The study incorporated more than 9,000 girls and women at risk for unintended pregnancy.

Researchers found that teen births within the group of women who were part of this program was 6.3 per 1,000, which is much lower than the national rate of 34.1 per 1,000.

“We already spend $11 – 12 billion on unintended pregnancies in the U.S., and I bet that money could go very far to provide contraception for many women in the U.S.,” said Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, lead study author and researcher at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine.

Peipert and colleagues also found that the percentage of abortions that were repeat abortions was lower in this group of participants than in the St. Louis region in general, and the national average, during 2008 to 2010. The study intervention appeared to prevent one abortion for every 79 to 137 women who participated.

In previous research, Peipert and colleagues showed that these longer-term methods are as much as 20 times more effective than the birth control pill, the hormone patch and the hormonal vaginal ring. The long-acting options do not require the user to remember to take medications or change out a device, failings which can lead to unwanted pregnancies.

There are many barriers to the widespread use of long-acting reversible contraceptives in the United States, he said. One is the cost. One IUD costs a little over $700, not including the insertion fee, Peipert said, but it is very cost-effective given how long these devices last compared to other methods. The implant lasts three years, while the copper IUD lasts 10 years.

These longer-term options should be covered under insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, although it remains controversial whether religious-based insurance carriers must provide contraception, Peipert said.

Another challenge is that clinicians are wary to give them to very young women, although they have been shown to be safe. Patients are also less aware that these methods exist.

Participants in the program were between 14 and 45 years old, did not want to get pregnant for at least 12 months, and planned to engage in sexual activity with a male partner within the next six months. About 5,000 participants received a free reversible contraceptive method for three years, while the rest got it for two years. Researchers used a variety of methods to enroll people in the study; 16% of the participants had been recruited at abortion facilities.

“Increasing access to the most effective contraceptive methods by removing cost and access as barriers has greatly increased the number of adolescents and women in the St. Louis region using the most effective methods of birth control,” the study said.

There are limitations, however. This study was limited to a very specific demographic area, so it’s hard to say how it would apply on a broader scale. Also, the study authors did not directly measure unintended pregnancies, but used measures of teen pregnancy and repeat abortions as a proxy.

The funding for the study came from the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. One of the study authors, Dr. Tessa Madden, is on the Speaker’s Bureau for Bayer Pharmaceuticals; there were no other conflicts of interest reported. The Washington University Human Research Protection Office gave approval before recruitment.

soundoff (688 Responses)
  1. RV Repair Near My Location

    Saved as a favorite, I like your web site!


    June 23, 2021 at 03:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Social Media Marketing Agency

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a great articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    June 23, 2021 at 04:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Video Marketing Specialist


    June 23, 2021 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Exhaust Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Repair Center Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 10:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Internet Marketing Experts

    Hello! I just want to offer you a big thumbs up for your excellent info you've got right here on this post. I will be returning to your web site for more soon.


    June 23, 2021 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. hotstar.com/activate

    It's fantastic that you are getting ideas from this post as well
    as from our dialogue made here.

    June 23, 2021 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Tire Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Internet Marketing Agency Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Chassis Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. SEO Marketing Consultant


    June 23, 2021 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Social Media Marketing Company


    June 24, 2021 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. sephora near me


    June 24, 2021 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Digital Marketing Business

    Aw, this was a really good post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and don't manage to get nearly anything done.


    June 24, 2021 at 05:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Social Media Marketing Service

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the site is also very good.


    June 24, 2021 at 05:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. bicycle shops near me


    June 24, 2021 at 06:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Chassis Repair Near Me

    An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. There's no doubt that that you need to write more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people do not speak about such issues. To the next! Kind regards!!


    June 24, 2021 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Content Marketing Specialist


    June 24, 2021 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Content Marketing Company

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your site!


    June 24, 2021 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Social Media Marketing Services Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Body Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. chevy dealer near me

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you ought to publish more on this issue, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people don't speak about these topics. To the next! Best wishes!!


    June 24, 2021 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Generator Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 24, 2021 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be exciting to read content from other writers and practice a little something from other websites.


    June 24, 2021 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Camper Repair Shops Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Repair

    Great article. I'm experiencing a few of these issues as well..


    June 24, 2021 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Orange County


    June 24, 2021 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Repair Santa Ana


    June 24, 2021 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Theo Lazzaro

    I am interested in advertising a new social networking site. I have never wrote a Blog before. How should I write this? . And where do I go to write a Blog. This is all new to me and I want to start rocking.. Thanks..


    June 24, 2021 at 23:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repair California


    June 25, 2021 at 04:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Ac Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Nearest RV Repair

    Everyone loves it when individuals come together and share ideas. Great blog, continue the good work!


    June 25, 2021 at 08:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Air Conditioning Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 25, 2021 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Sprinter Repair Orange County


    June 25, 2021 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?


    June 25, 2021 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Air Conditioner Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Maryrose Hopple


    June 25, 2021 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Window Repair Near Me

    You made some really good points there. I looked on the web for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    June 25, 2021 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Felton Muilenburg

    I enjoy looking through a post that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!


    June 25, 2021 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repair Shop Near My Location


    June 26, 2021 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Emergency RV Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 05:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Around Me


    June 26, 2021 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 26, 2021 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV And Camper Repair Near Me

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    June 26, 2021 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Repair Near Me

    Howdy! I simply would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you've got right here on this post. I am returning to your site for more soon.


    June 26, 2021 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Leave a Reply to Guest


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.