Study: Misjudging Contraceptives’ Effectiveness
May 1, 2012
Today on BuzzFeed, board member Nancy Stanwood, MD, MPH, talked about the pill's failure rate in an article that also covers a study by former Leadership Training Initiative Fellow David Eisenberg, MD, MPH, et al. The authors of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology study found that women overestimate various contraceptives’ efficacy.
Dr. Stanwood noted that the pill’s failure rate indicates that too many women are using a birth control method that isn’t working for them, often because more effective options are more expensive. She added: "Women shouldn’t have to look in their pocketbook to figure out what kind of contraception they should use." Read the rest of the BuzzFeed article.
In the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology study, Dr. Eisenberg et al. showed that women seeking birth control thought condoms and oral contraceptives were significantly more effective than they are. But when the women received accurate information about these options, they were more inclined to choose highly effective, long-term methods like IUDs and hormonal implants.
Dr. Eisenberg told Reuters, "We need to do a better job of educating the public -- women and men -- on [birth control] failure rates." He also observed that we need to "remove the obstacles" to IUDs and implants, making them more affordable and improving medical professionals’ understanding of these contraceptives. Read the article here. United Press International, the Globe and Mail, and GlobalPost.com also covered the study.
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