An article, published by NPR, reported on a study in the journal Lancet which was conducted by the University of California, San Francisco and 40 Planned Parenthood facilities in 15 states.
The study sought to test the hypothesis that educating health care providers about the latest long term reversible contraceptive methods would decrease the number of unintended pregnancies. Researchers followed 1,500 women, 18-25 years of age, who received counseling, either from a provider who had received additional training regarding IUD’s and implantable hormonal contraception, or from a control.
The study found that the unintended pregnancy rate of those who received counseling by an updated provider dropped by almost half. Updated training of Birth Control Counselors boosts use of IUDs.
This decrease, from 15% to 8%, would be a stride in improving women’s health and possibly decreasing the need for abortions.
Given that accepted failure rate of these devices is less 1% a year and that only 12 % of women using birth control are opting for these devices the potential impact of such intervention may be significant.