Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!


  GARO/Canopy/Getty Images
GARO/Canopy/Getty Images

IUDs and implants -- known as long-acting reversible contraception -- are among the most effective birth control options, but their popularity in the US is only now spiking. Cristen and Caroline explain the different types and explore how cultural stigma and sterilization fears have slowed their spread.

Episode Sources:

"A brief history of the IUD: The strange ways we've tried to stop pregnancy"

"The IUD answer"

"Contraceptive use in China"

"Why IUD access in India falls short"

"Easy-to-use IUD inserter could aid women who lack access to birth control"

"Colorado's effort against teenage pregnancy is a startling success"

"Colorado to continue teen pregnancy prevention program"

"Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC): IUD and implant"

"Why gynecologists think IUDs are the best contraceptive"

"Birth control implant (Implanon and Nexplanon)"

"Choosing a birth control method"

"Teen girls who use IUDs to prevent pregnancy often skip condoms"

"Facts are important: Emergency contraception and intrauterine devices are not abortifacients"

"Contraceptive use in the United States"

Academic Insights:

"Negotiating acceptability of the IUD: Contraceptive technology, women's bodies and reproductive politics." Chikako Takeshita. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. May 2004.

More to Explore