Background: Little is known about attitudes and beliefs among teenagers and young women about the intrauterine device (IUD).
Study design: We surveyed 252 women, ages 14-27 years, presenting for appointments at an urban family planning clinic about demographics, sexual and birth control history, and opinions about the IUD.
Results: Fifty-five percent had not heard of the IUD. Participants who were parous were 4.4 times more likely to be interested in the IUD than nulliparous participants. Independent of parity, participants who had heard of the IUD from a health care provider were 2.7 times more likely to be interested in using the method. The study population was at high risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs); however, 82% of participants predicted that they would increase or experience no change in their condom use with an IUD in place.
Conclusions: Health care providers should be encouraged to talk to teenagers and young women who are at high risk for unintended pregnancy, both parous and nulliparous, about using the IUD.
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