Recent clinical studies demonstrate that counselling on contraception proved to reduce unintended pregnancy and that women are more prone to choose more effective contraception, compared to other methods, such as condoms or contraceptive pills.
According to new data, published in ”The Lancet”, when women are properly explained and informed about alternative contraceptive methods, the risk for unintended pregnancy can decrease by as much as 50 percent.
IUDs are reported to be much more effective than traditional contraceptive methods, such as condoms, with as a rate of failure of 18 percent or contraceptive pills, with 9 percent. IUDs have a rate of failure of only 0,2 percent but there are also side effects as they can cause bleeding.
The study included 40 clinics in the U.S., specialized in Planned Parenthood, out of which 20 were selected in order to benefit from special training regarding long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC), such as Intrauterine devices (commonly known as IUDs).
The main focus was on providing information and counseling on the procedure and performance of such implants. The rest of the other 20 clinics did not receive any training.
A total number of 1,500 young women, with ages ranging from 18 to 25 years were involved in the study. They came to the clinic because they were in need of family planning, did not intend to have a pregnancy in the future or to terminate a pregnancy.
All these women were evaluated for a period of one year and results concluded that in the clinics where training and counseling was provided, over 28 percent of them opted for a LARC method and not a conventional one. In contrast, in the other 20 clinics where there was no training and counseling offered, only 17 percent of women evaluated chose LARC.
The results were conclusive, in terms of the importance of informing and counseling women on all contraceptive methods so they can get a better understanding of all factors involved. This ultimately resulted in more women selecting better, more effective contraception.
As for the percentage of unintended pregnancy, this was 15 percent for women in clinics where no counseling was provided, as opposed to only 8 percent in clinics where women were trained and counseled.
Cynthia Harper, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at California University from San Francisco, explains that unintended pregnancy is currently recognized as one of the major issues that is affecting the health of young women, usually aged from 18 to 25 years, in the U.S.
Be it such a persisting matter, every way of improving it is, of course, a real breakthrough. That is why professor Harper feels now more confident that, by properly educating women on contraceptive methods and providing them all necessary information, they will be able to take better decisions and opt for more effective contraception.
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