Jonathan Wolfman's Blog
MAY 16, 2012 7:09AM

UNPROTECTED: Of I.U.D.s & the Religious-Right's Sock-Puppet

Rate: 16 Flag

 IUDCPCopperT380A.gif       What's the most effective and safest method of emergency contraception after unprotected sex?

     In a review of forty-two studies conducted between 1979 and 2011, the copper I.U.D. was shown to have a failure rate of less than one in 1,000, making it, according to a New York Times summary of the data, "by far the most effective method." By contrast, Mifeprex, a popular oral contraceptive, fails 1.4 percent of the time, and levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step), has a failure rate of between two and three percent.

      The percentage differences may not seem great until you realize that each tenth of a percent accounts for a tremendous number of women in the United States and world-wide.
      There's an issue, however, with the copper I.U.D. The study also says that "85% of clinicians" (in the U.S.) don't recommend the I.U.D. for emergency contraception. Lead researcher, Kathy Cleland of Princeton University, notes that "health care providers don't offer doesn't cover them." She adds that the emergency contraceptive pill can be a good  alternative.
     Even as the pills are a useful choice, we ought to wonder at the fact, and wonder aloud, about why it is that of most women who use emergency contraception, only five percent in the United States, for example, use the I.U.D, the most effective method.
     And wonder about this:  with the war on abortion rights having slid so fluidly into an equally nasty assault on legal contraception...wonder as loud as you are able and as consistently as you are able about where, and with what intensity, these assaults will run if the man who has so happily made of himself a sock-puppet for the most hare-brained and vicious on the Religious Right becomes president.

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If elected, he'll owe the dream of his entire life coming true to these misogynists. It has hardly mattered, and for a while, what he really believes. If anything.
And the IUD can be left in for 5 years or so, it doesn't have to be removed right away, thus preventing more pregnancies. Sounds like a "Duh" to me.
His beliefs have been beside the point for a long time. This is a guy who has had to run from his greatest accomplishment in order to get elected.

For one assessment of this guy, a very good one, see Chauncey DeVega's latest post, called Empathy Wars...
Phyllis these guys don't know from "Duuuh".
kosh thanks! I'll read it.
I'd never heard of that use for it - or that copper is still in use at all in IUDs. As for the rest - I can't imagine. And I don't want to. The future of the courts is already more fear than I can deal with.
Cred uhmhmm... ... ...
Balt thanks for this perspective! :)
Jon, a few thoughts come to mind:

People were afraid that JFK would go to Rome for advice. Remember that? Didn't happen.

Government needs to step out of the bedroom.

Perhaps clinics SHOULD be privately funded and that way government is out of the picture. You can't have it both ways.

And for those ladies who are afraid of the morning after, you can prevent a lot of that by not inviting IT the night before. Females should be responsible for their choices. We have a slogan for drinking and driving...How about drinking and sex? It gets a lot of girls into trouble. Pregnancy can be prevented.

(Rape by husband or intruder another issue, entirely)

Education in the classroom! Privacy in the doctors office!

I am sure of one thing. Romney is more interested in the economy than contraception.

Now, don't call me...I won't be home this afternoon.
Ande I disagree w what seems to be the assumption here that if a woman knowingly has unprotected sex she, almost by definition, should have less of a say in whether or not she becomes pregnant. I just don't get that at all.
If he is we might as well all bend over and grab our ankles.
Jon, my comment has to do with the night before,not the morning after. A woman should be entitled to and get what she needs to address a possible pregnancy.

This is issue is older than you and me. I am addressing my mantra.....Consequence. If you prepare you might be spared having to make that decision. It is not just up to the man to carry condoms. In other words: Many so called unwanted pregnancies can be prevented by being in control. Therefore the instances would be fewer.

Again...I am excluding forced rape.

My own life's experiences have taught me one thing over and over again. Responsibility takes precedent.

Now to answer your question: I am not saying a woman should have less of a say. I am saying she should.
Ande we largely agree, tho I still think morning-after contraception should be available to all women, young, older even on the occasions when s/he were unprepared, incautious.
We've all made mistakes, even if sober. Our genetic code dictates certain rises and subsidences of hormonal forces which can make taking chances easier, especially for younger women with less experience in interpersonal relations. "Being horny," as it's called, can really blow a woman's cool. We are not infallible. Many of us make the same mistakes over and over again as young women before we finally get the truth: we're worth something.

Young girls nowadays seem hell bent at times on having as many physically intimate relationships as they can, almost as if to say, they have the control or the power over what happens to them sexually.

This can be unhealthy, obviously.

The IUD is okay, Jon. I just guess I'm not ready to see it as the real answer here. I'm still a real believer in condoms, as these do protect in more ways than one. A young woman without an IUD may seem like a bit of a loose cannon to some where pregnancy issues are concerned, but is she not much more likely to see it as necessary to protect herself with a condom during sex?

Perhaps that's a question which needs looking into.

Also, for some, the IUD can produce painful times of the month which can undermine health in other ways. It is not, therefore, to be seen as the right answer in some cases.

The American male wants to feel certain his partner won't become pregnant until it's time for both partners to be ready for such an eventuality, yet still enjoys his freedom in the bedroom. Women may see it just a little bit differently.

Maybe that's why I like knowing Planned Parenthood is around, in that they supply the female condom as well as the male one to patients with active sex lives. When Planned parenthood's abortion ideals became the main focus for its removal in certain cities around the country, I believe this was overlooked.

I won't speak to the abortion issue, feeling two ways about it myself. But I do have strong feelings on the subject of health safety, and condoms have been proven to be the only truly effective way (barring abstinence, which nobody thinks is fun) of preventing more health concerns where STDs are concerned.

Having lost several good friends to the AIDS epidemic back in the 80's and early 90's, I guess I have feel pretty passionate about keeping condoms readily available to everyone.

Sorry this is so long...
PW I'm delighted you shared this, and of course I'm for condom use (as well as for morning-after availibility of meds).
Sorry, Jon...forgot to rate when I was here before...
I agree with BA. If a woman I know was raped, I wouldn't suggest insertion of an IUD to prevent a pregnancy.
I think that this talk of condoms makes sense but it might make a bit more sense here in a slightly different context:

It may answer the question you pose in the post.

The IUD may seldom be recommended by doctors for emergency contraception because:

1. It requires a doctor's visit
2. It requires the expense of a doctor's visit
3. It can present difficulties in some women at certain times of the month
4. Doctors would rather encourage condoms because of the added advantage of preventing STD's, and so they'd only get to the IUD as a fallback position.
5. The lack of insurance coverage adds to the expense.

I got all of these answers from the Comments.

As to why more doctors aren't presenting the IUD as an alternative for this purpose, that may be a lack of knowledge on their part about the comparative success rates of these methods in preventing pregnancies after the fact. However, even if they were better informed, my guess is that most doctors might list this as an alternative but not recommend it for some or all of the reasons listed above.
The Romney "sock puppet" now that's a model for a DNC campaign ad.
Koah that may well be. Thanks!
I think all behavior judgements don't belong as a part of this issue. That is the whole problem with all of this. No offense Ande, but you sound like you are judging women and I would think that if you are a woman, an older woman who has seen what the world has to offer women, what their experiences can be, that you would not take the punishment approach to anything they might do or not do about sex in a situation where they would like to have access to a morning after product.

I hope that you have instilled your beliefs about behavior in all the women you might have personal contact with as a behavior guide for them, but unfortunately, we cannot continue in this country to judge all circumstances and behaviors and beliefs by our own, especially in contraception and abortion right across the board, as if our experience, knowledge and beliefs somehow are better or take precedence over others.

I am really tired of the constant interjection of personal experience and beliefs into this subject. It is and never has been anyone's business what a woman does in her own bedroom sexually and if she wants to be pregnant or not. Pussy footing around that main component is not going to solve the misogynistic behavior of the right. As a former Republican with political experience, I can tell you it is all about getting votes, power and the crafted subterfuge which the right keeps the left busy with while all the deals are made is sickening. We are women, we should be equal and our private lives, our health and our bodies are not pawns in this game. The right has made it so, and until my dying day I will not understand how this country can be so ignorant, backward and manipulated by a group of power hungry greed animals that have one but their own best interests at heart.

We need to stop focusing on nit picking our morals and behaviors and as a united force topple these right wing nuts and their overt religious bs that is being used as their basis of argument and see what is really going on. It is about power, and it is about money. Don't forget that when you are laying your moral perimeters of behavior all over women's reproductive issues.
Read the comments and feel I cannot add more of value. Lovely to see adults discussing this subject rationally! Rated, of course!
Sheila yes; the greater point for me in this is the damage some would do to women when in power.
As a "morning after" solution, an IUD is extremely unpractical. I hear Ande on the "take responsibility" issue, but an "after the act" solution would benefit mother, child, father, and community. The IUD is better used as a long term preventive. And, as some noted, it doesn't protect against STDs.

I assume the current IUDs are better than the one that I had 37 years ago. Back then there were health risks for women using the IUD. In 1966 and 1976 I managed to get pregnant while using highly effective birth control--the pill and the IUD respectively.
Though I think Sheila and Kosh summed up the issue beautifully, I will still interject the snark I was going to take advantage of my anonymity to share: Shit. Happens.

You can pave the planet with condoms and label them with all the sanctimonious platitudes everyone can think of and shit will still happen.

Should a woman and, worse yet, potentially the resultant child, be subject to a lifetime of punishment - or even 9 months - because one time she's not sufficiently guarded against a surge of hormones or because she overindulged one night or because she let down her guard or even because she's just stupid? (Yes, that last one happens.) I say no. I don't want to create that kind of world.

And - thinking further about the IUD - which I could never use for more than 2 years at a time - Jon, is there something different about this shape or the use of copper? (Mine were neither.)

"Someone I know" (not me) was using an IUD in the 70's. Got pregnant, delivered healthy twins, was told she was so scarred internally she'd never conceive again, did, healthy singleton 14 months later without the IUD ever turning up, all followed by tubal ligation AND vasectomy.
Luckily, Jon, we do not have to face a Romney presidency
nor a Bork-advised supreme court.
He cannot win.

O must muster the women to make them aware.
He oughta write a damn mommy porn book to get thru to em.

My view on this is: making love ought to be fun.
It ought to be a celebration..
With prudence, of course: unobtrusive instruments
making it that the more fun. yes?

Doctors rule us now. They will determine our future,from
scattered wisdom...

gotta find a good dr, like, ah, dr mccoy from star trek:

McCoy: Don't risk your life on a theory!
Spock: Being split in two halves is no theory with me, Doctor. I have a human half and an alien half at war with each other. Personal experience, Doctor. I survive because my intelligence wins, makes them live together. Your intelligence would enable you to survive, as well.
W.W. 3
Albert E. believed?
Folk will toss rocks?
Build a I.U.D./I.E.D.?
Make bows & arrows?
Make nuclear weapon.
If there's a profit use it?
CEOs make up the rules.
Fools do ruin`hamartia.
Hamartia - to ruin self.
That's so foolish to do.
Politicos get so foolish.
I realize you ref: I.U.D.
No kill. Permit choice.
No kill in war. Life.
Jonathan Wolfman -
You take on issues.
You keep addressing.
Strange era to be in . . .
These 'jokers' are strange.
Strange can be the divine.
Politicos exhibit the dark.
I am the father of a child who was conceived despite the the fact that his mother had an implanted IUD. I hope that doesn't shake too many people up. The good news is that he is a wonderful person.
To those of you promoting condoms, some of us are allergic to latex and too old for birth control pills, which I know do not prevent disease. IUDs are non-hormonal birth control. Why shouldn't we make them easier to access?
Worldwide, the IUD is the most popular method of medical birth control. It's only within the US that it lags in popularity -- because of the Dalkon Shield fiasco in the 70's. It gave the IUD a bad name. Gradually, they are making a come back. They are very effective, cost-effective (even without insurance coverage if you consider the cost per year), long-lasting, convenient and reversible. The down side is that they do not prevent STD's, but then neither do other forms of birth control other than a condom.

Paraguard is the copper T. It does not emit hormones. The other option is Mirena, which does emit low levels of progesterone but does NOT contain estrogen -- which is so crucial for those whose family history includes blood clots. My husband's family has a history of protein S deficiency, and our daughter has the condition. Her birth control options are limited to those that do not contain estrogen.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about the IUD -- mainly that it is only for women who have already had children. But that isn't true. Although the pain of insertion is higher for women who have not had children (this I have heard from childless friends and family!), it is safe for childless women to have it inserted and more and more women in the US are turning to the IUD.
Yup. ^^. What THEY said! ^^

Every type, kind, style, method of pre & post coital birth control NEEDS to be available, freely to everyone. There are NO medical or ethical reasons not to... Only religious ones and I, quite frankly, spit on those because I am SUPPOSE to be protected from them by the constitution.

@ Ande Bliss wrote: "People were afraid that JFK would go to Rome for advice. Remember that? Didn't happen."

Mebe not, hon... But it sure didn't keep them out of Nancy Pelosi's office during the heat of the healthcare debate (and the beginning of the attack on women's rights) now did it?

^^. That's one of the major reasons why I don't trust ANY of the current pols (Repugs or DINOs) to stand up for my rights. Every last one of them is bought and paid for by either corporations or religious organizations (not that there is much difference!)