Published On: Tue, Jan 8th, 2019

Cheap IUD Is Safe, Effective Contraception Up to 5 Years

Data shows that the Liletta (52-mg levonorgestrel-releasing) intrauterine device (IUD), prevents pregnancy up 5 years in both slim and obese American women whether they already had children or not. The drug was first sold for $50 to the public, partially to alleviate the financial burden of paying for other long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC), according to a recent Medline article.

photo/ Rudy and Peter Skitterians via Pixabay

At 5 years out, 42 percent of the women in the study experienced amenorrhea, meaning they had no menstrual bleeding or spotting for the prior 90 days and about 2 percent had the device removed due to bleeding. Given these promising results in early studies, the push for the product is likely to escalate. Based on the results from a large phase 3 trial, known as IUS (ACCESS IUS), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the nod to distribute the product to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years.

Prior Approvals

In a three-year period between 2015 and 2017, the FDA approved the device for 3 then 4 years, as the results of earlier studies for ACCESS IUS were successful. Women who never became pregnant made up 58% of current study population. The current trial study women who use the device for 10 years continuously.

Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive May Be a Good Option

About half of US pregnancies are unplanned, but using LARC has helped to substantially reduce unintended pregnancy, more so than other types of reversible contraception.

Despite promising studies such as the one above, the cost for contraception is a real public health concern for lower-income families and individuals. To make this and other beneficial products available, more clinical tests are needed, as well as the funding to support such long-term efforts.

The Nature of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are long-term enterprises that take a great deal of skill and coordination to operate. According to the Miami Clinical Research group, individuals who participate in studies benefit in the following ways:

“Potential benefits of participation:

  • Have the opportunity to be the first to benefit from treatments that may be more effective than the standard approach.
  • Gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available.
  • The opportunity to help the community by contributing to medical research.”

Author: Jacob Maslow

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