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New Moms Have New Birth Control Needs

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January 2003
New Moms Have New Birth Control Needs

Are you currently pregnant or are you a new mother? If so, a recent survey shows it is likely you are considering, or will soon be considering, a change in birth control methods. The national study, conducted by Russell Research, found that nearly half of the 502 new and expectant mothers surveyed are dissatisfied with the method of birth control they had been using before they became pregnant, or are currently using.

Many new mothers reported that the birth control they use now most often does not possess the attributes they desire -- and a woman's discontent with her birth control can have serious consequences, including unplanned pregnancies and a decrease in sexual satisfaction.

According to the survey, new mothers want birth control options that are simple and effective, allowing them to adjust to the dramatic change in lifestyle having a baby brings. The survey uncovered the attributes that new moms find ideal, including effectiveness, long-term pregnancy protection, shorter periods, less hassle and allowing for sexual spontaneity. In many cases, the study found that these attributes were more important to women post-baby than before they were pregnant.

In recent years there have been many advances in birth control, including a new form of intrauterine contraception (IUC), an important reversible alternative that is often overlooked by women and their doctors. IUC systems are easy to use, provide long-term protection from pregnancy and do not require a monthly trip to the pharmacy. These are all 'ideal' contraceptive attributes reported by new mothers and pregnant women. Users of intrauterine contraception are more satisfied than users of any other birth control: 96 percent of women currently using IUC are satisfied.

The newest option, Mirena(R), (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system), lasts for five years and is more than 99 percent effective. Mirena delivers a low dose of the hormone levonorgestrel directly to the lining of the uterus, and its use usually results in shorter, lighter periods. And not surprisingly, 82 percent of new mothers surveyed like the idea of having shorter, lighter periods!

Intrauterine contraception is recommended for women in stable, mutually monogamous relationships who have had at least one child. Only a doctor can determine if intrauterine contraception is appropriate, but women with a history of or at risk for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or ectopic pregnancy should not use Mirena. Otherwise, most moms are typically good candidates for Mirena. Side effects are uncommon and may include a cyst on the ovaries, missed menstrual periods, irregular bleeding or spotting for the first 3 to 6 months, or lighter, shorter periods thereafter. Mirena does not protect against HIV (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases. Mirena frees a mom from worrying about birth control for up to five years, but if she decides to have more children, she can have Mirena removed and her fertility will return rapidly. Eighty percent of women who want to become pregnant will become pregnant in the first year after Mirena is removed.

Whether a new mom or not, women who think Mirena may satisfy their birth control needs should speak with their doctor to determine whether it is right for them. More information can be found on www.mirena.com.

-Courtesy of ARA Content


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