KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

IUDs, Implants Far More Effective At Preventing Pregnancy Than The Pill

A large study of birth control methods in the U.S. found that women using pills, skin patches or vaginal rings were 20 times more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy than women who used intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants placed under the skin of the upper arm.  The failure rates were highest among teenagers and young women.

Reuters: Long-Term Contraception More Effective Than Pills
A large real-life test of birth control methods found more U.S. women got pregnant while using short-acting methods such as pills, patches and vaginal rings -- and the failure rate was highest when they were used by women under 21. In a new study published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, about 7,500 women and teens in the St. Louis area were allowed to pick from a variety of contraception methods at no cost. … "One of the beauties of this study is that it shows that when you take cost out of the equation and you educate women objectively and effectively, about 75 percent of them chose a long-acting method," [Brooke Winner] said (Emery, 5/23).

MSNBC: Long-Term Birth Control Methods Work Better Than Pill
Women who use long-acting methods of birth control are less likely to wind up pregnant than women who use shorter-term methods, which require daily or monthly remembering, a new analysis says. The results showed that women using birth control pills, skin patches or vaginal rings were 20 times more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy than women who used intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants placed under the skin of the upper arm. ... The study, which appears Thursday (May 24) in the New England Journal of Medicine, is one of the largest ever done in the U.S. to compare birth control failure rates over a three-year period, Peipert said. It's also one of the few to include a large number of women using IUDs and implants (Nierenberg, 5/23).

ABC (Video): Women Opting For Less Effective Birth Control
Dr. Linda Bradley says myths and lack of understanding limit IUD use in U.S. (5/23).

CNN: Study: IUDs, Implants Vastly More Effective Than The Pill
The study, published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared the effectiveness of various types of birth control in a group of about 7,500 sexually active women in the St. Louis area. Over a period of three years, 9.4 percent of women using birth control pills, patches, or vaginal rings became pregnant accidentally, compared to just 0.9 percent of women who opted for IUDs or implants. The difference in these so-called contraceptive failure rates was especially dramatic among teenagers and young women, a group at high risk for unintended pregnancies. Women under age 21 who used short-term birth control were nearly twice as likely as their older counterparts to become pregnant, whereas the failure rate for IUDs and implants was less than 1 percent regardless of age (MacMillan, 5/23).

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