Women are choosing the long-lasting method now that birth control will be more expensive and harder to get.
After the election of Donald Trump, a lot of women were concerned about what would happen to the free, accessible birth control options they had under Obama's Affordable Care Act. And now that Trump has officially taken office, we know that contraceptives will no longer be co-pay free, and that the cost for getting an IUD will likely be somewhere between $400 and $900, which would be a major expense for most women in America. That's why many women's health advocates suggested that women get an IUD ASAP before he took office, since it could be the last chance to get one without cost.
Why an IUD? For one, it's the most effective form of birth control. Both the hormonal and copper versions of the device are over 99 percent effective, making them significantly less risky than condoms (82 percent effective with normal use) and the Pill (91 percent effective with normal use), according to the Centers for Disease Control. The IUD also lasts longer compared to other reversible forms of birth control; you can keep the same one for three years or more.
Considering that abortion isn't exactly becoming more accessible, it makes sense to opt for an IUD if you don't want a baby anytime soon. (Ready for more bad news? More women are Googling DIY abortions.)
Women are taking control of their reproductive health as much as they can. Between October and December of 2016, visits to doctors for IUD insertions and management went up 19 percent, according to data collected by AthenaHealth. That is a pretty huge jump in just a few months and completely atypical when looking at the year-over-year statistics.
Interestingly, this increase was consistent across Republican and Democratic-voting counties, so even those who voted for Trump may have decided it was a good idea to prevent pregnancy before the new president took office. Planned Parenthood also saw a 900 percent increase in demand for IUDs after the election.
AthenaHealth is currently collecting data from the month of January and plans to watch this upward trend to see if it continues. "It certainly looks like some women are concerned that full coverage for contraceptive services will be more expensive for them, and so are getting IUDs without cost while they still can," said Josh Gray, vice president of research at AthenaHealth, in a press release. Here's to hoping that women who want IUDs are able to get them throughout Trump's presidency, but this data certainly suggests that a lot of women aren't so confident this will be the case. (If you're not sure what kind of contraceptive makes sense for your lifestyle, here's how to find the best type of birth control for you.)