An intrauterine device (IUD) is a long-term form of birth control where a small ‘T’-shaped device is inserted into the uterus.
It is considered the most effective type of reversible birth control and the mostly widely-used form worldwide. About 25% of women on birth control in Norway and France use IUDs or implants and up to 41% of Chinese women.
However, the United States still lags behind the world in terms of usage.
In 2007, about 4% of women on birth control in the U.S. used IUDs. That rate was up to 8.5% in 2009.
There were long-held beliefs among doctors and patients that IUDs were ineffective or dangerous to long-term fertility. However, scientific studies have since found those theories to be baseless.
Furthermore, professional gynecologic organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have endorsed the use of IUDs and implants, which has further increased physician and patient support for the devices.