Increased use of an intrauterine device at a younger age would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, a study has revealed.
"We found that 98 per cent of women had at one time or another used some form of contraceptive and that 95 per cent of women had used the pill. The pill is the most common method among women up to the age of 29, among older women the medicated intrauterine device (Mirena) and copper intrauterine devices are more common", says Ingela Lindh, a midwife and researcher at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sahlgrenska Academy.
The group monitored 286 women for 25 years of their fertile period, between 19 and 44 years of age.
"When we compared women who had not been pregnant at the age of 19 with women who had been pregnant at that age, the study showed that these women had significantly more pregnancies up to the age of 24. This increase subsided rapidly as the women became older which was probably due to the increased use of an intrauterine device in this group of women", she said.
The researcher thus concluded that long acting contraceptive methods such as intrauterine devices are much more effective and permanent than the pill.
"We need more active management from health care providers for women who have undergone one or more abortions. It would be advantageous to have a quicker return visit after an abortion where you can discuss the pros and cons of different contraceptives and highlight the use of long acting methods such as an intrauterine device as a good alternative to the pill", says Lindh.