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IUD as birth control for teens? Think again


Date published: 10/7/2012

IUD as birth control for teens? Think again

This letter is in response to a health/science article in the paper supporting teenage use of IUDs as a method of birth control ["IUD, implant use urged for teens," Sept. 21]. Please let me apprise you of my experience with an IUD.

I was one of the first of many women to be given an IUD in the '70s, at a time when there probably wasn't much tracking of side effects or success rates to accurately support its effectiveness. I became pregnant and had a two-month premature baby, all the while believing that I did have an IUD in and it had just not worked.

I was subsequently contacted by an organization asking for my participation in a class-action suit against the Dalkon Shield due to such problems as infection, miscarriages, premature births, and birth defects. In order to substantiate my claim, my physician was required to validate the failure of the shield, which he would not do. It was his impression that I had expelled the shield since it could not be found upon examination of the afterbirth.

I subsequently learned that it was not advisable for IUDs to be implanted in women who had never been pregnant because of the strength of those muscles involved, which would be sufficient to expel the IUD. I'm sure this is what happened in my case. My physician was convinced that my shield had wound up in the local sewer system.

Unless great strides have been made in the last 40 years and the IUD significantly changed, young women should think carefully and consult with their doctors before embarking on a method of birth control about which they cannot be sure.

Donna Walmsley