The intrauterine device (IUD) is highly effective, easy to use, and has few side effects. The device costs the provider about US$2 and offers a duration of protection that makes it the most cost-effective of the temporary methods if used for two years or more. The IUD's many advantages also make it a good alternative for reducing unmet need for long-term contraception around the world. Between 5 and 17 percent of all married women of reproductive age in 53 less developed countries do not want to have more children but are not using a contraceptive method. Because the IUD can be provided in primary health centers and posts at low cost, it can help women achieve their fertility goals, especially in rural areas. Despite these advantages, the IUD is underused. FRONTIERS conducted projects in Africa, Asia and the Near East, and Latin America and the Caribbean to understand why the IUD is not used more extensively and to test strategies to make it more accessible and acceptable for couples. This brief describes findings from these studies and suggests approaches for increasing the availability and use of IUD services.
Vernon, Ricardo. 2008. "Increasing women's use of the IUD for family planning," FRONTIERS Program Brief. Washington, DC: Population Council.
Frontiers in Reproductive Health
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