Another look at IUDs

THE infections and infertility associated with the Dalkon Shield contraceptive device in the 1970s hasn’t stopped newer intrauterine devices (IUDs) becoming one of the most widely used reversible contraceptives in the world.

But Australian data published in 2003 shows only 1.2% of Australian women using contraceptives use IUDs, compared with 17% in France and 21% in Sweden.1

Dr Deborah Bateson, medical director of the NSW branch of Family Planning Australia, thinks that today around 4% of Australian women using contraceptives choose IUDs. In a recent letter to the MJA, Dr Bateson and colleagues ask the question: Why are so few Australian women using this effective method of contraception?2

The answer lies somewhere between the myths and misconceptions among patients and practice-related barriers for GPs.

Because they don’t rely on the user remembering to do something – like take a pill each day, or insert a diaphragm