Why Doctors Agree the IUD is the Best Birth Control on the Market

Which form of birth control do doctors prefer? Drumroll, please — it's the most fashionable contraceptive around these days, the intrauterine device (IUD). Cost-effective, long-lasting and unequivocally good at the job, the T-shaped wonder is the physician's favorite. Why?

"If you can eliminate a lot of them [unplanned pregnancies] by taking out the human ability to screw up, you've done fabulous stuff," as Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive services at the Yale School of Medicine, told Time

Read more: These Teens Reveal What It's Like to Have Access to Free Contraception

IUDs are virtually idiot-proof; once they're in, there's no misusing them. It's "set and forget" pregnancy prevention that can last up to 10 years, depending on the device. That helps explain why IUDs are the most effective form of reversible birth control on the market and the contraceptive most popular among doctors.

A 2014 study found that, in a survey of 335 healthcare providers using birth control, 40% had opted for an IUD. Even in 2006, well before the device had made its resurgence in contraception popularity, 18% of gynecologists were using it. 

What's more, in 2014, the IUD was — along with the implantable rod — the American Academy of Pediatrics' pick for contraceptive methods that pediatricians should be prescribing teenage girls interested in birth control. 

Their efficacy and long-term affordability is what prompted the Colorado Family Planning Initiative to provide them to teens and low-income women free of charge. As a result, teen birthrate dropped 40% between 2009 and 2013, and teen abortions plummeted by 42%. 

While they do — like any form of contraception — come with a few risks, they boast a success rate that's hard to ignore. For many women, the fleeting moments of heavy cramping are well worth the peace of mind an IUD provides.

Source: Giphy

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

MORE FROM

These secret wartime tunnels were hidden beneath London for 100 years. Here’s what’s inside.

The passages were once used to shuffle 4 million letters a day.

London police identify Makram Ali, 51, as the man killed in the Finsbury Park mosque attack

Makram Ali, a father of six, died after a van attack on worshippers at a London mosque.

Cladding Similar to Grenfell Tower Could Be on 600 U.K. Buildings, PM's Office Says

Local authorities estimate about 600 buildings across Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been fitted with the same type of flammable cladding used on Grenfell Tower.

Archbishop apologizes for Church of England's role in hiding years of "systemic" sexual abuse

Ex-bishop Peter Ball admitted in 2015 to abusing 18 young men over two decades.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.

These secret wartime tunnels were hidden beneath London for 100 years. Here’s what’s inside.

The passages were once used to shuffle 4 million letters a day.

London police identify Makram Ali, 51, as the man killed in the Finsbury Park mosque attack

Makram Ali, a father of six, died after a van attack on worshippers at a London mosque.

Cladding Similar to Grenfell Tower Could Be on 600 U.K. Buildings, PM's Office Says

Local authorities estimate about 600 buildings across Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been fitted with the same type of flammable cladding used on Grenfell Tower.

Archbishop apologizes for Church of England's role in hiding years of "systemic" sexual abuse

Ex-bishop Peter Ball admitted in 2015 to abusing 18 young men over two decades.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.