Birth Control Problem Set

Problem 2: NOT a barrier method of contraception

Tutorial to help answer this question

Which of the following is NOT a barrier method of contraception?
A. Condoms
B. Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
C. Diaphragm

Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
The intrauterine device (IUD) works by interfering with implantation. There is no consensus on exactly how it works. It may immobilize sperm, interfere with migration of sperm, speed transport of the ovum, of alter the lining of the uterus.
IUDs are devices coated with either fine copper wiring or a contraceptive hormone. They need to be prescribed and inserted and removed by the provider.

They are inserted into the uterus with a short string that descends through the cervix into the vagina. They are only recommended for women over 30 who already have had their uterus stretched by a pregnancy. They need to be replaced every 10 years.

Failure rate
The failure rate of the IUDs is 0.6% to 2% (effective rate of 98% to 99.4%) for unwanted pregnancy and they offer no protection against sexually transmitted diseases. IUDs are actually linked with higher STD rates and increased risk of Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID).

The Biology Project
University of Arizona
Tuesday, February 10, 1998
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