October 6, 2015 — The New York City Health Department recently announced the launch of "Maybe the IUD," a public education campaign to increase awareness of the intrauterine device and other contraceptive methods, NPR's "Shots" reports (Shallcross, "Shots," NPR, 10/2).
The campaign, which includes ads on the subway and at bus stops, is part of a five-year initiative created to "enhance and elevate community dialogue and engagement on sexual and reproductive justice," according to a health department release.
Among posters' slogans are, "You spent the night in Brooklyn but you left your birth control in Staten Island. Maybe the IUD is right for you," and, "The IUD is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. That's one less thing to worry about."
The campaign also includes social media materials and a website that "stresses the importance of getting accurate information about contraceptive options, so that every woman can choose the method that best meets her needs and lifestyle" (Castillo, Medical Daily, 10/4). Meanwhile, a search engine on the health hepartment's website allows women who do not qualify for insurance exchange plans under the Affordable Care Act [PL 111-148] to find providers who offer contraceptive options for little to no cost ("Shots," NPR, 10/2).
According to Medical Daily, the health department also partnered with the City University of New York to raise reproductive health awareness among the university's students (Medical Daily, 10/4).
Providing Information on IUDs
Deborah Kaplan, assistant commissioner for the Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health for the health department, said, "Sex is part of life. Talking about birth control is part of life ... And if we can make this more open, we think more women will be comfortable going to their providers, asking about this and thinking about the different options they have."
Kaplan noted that six in 10 pregnancies in New York City are unintended, and half of all unintended pregnancies occur among women in their 20s.
Kaplan added that IUDs are "a method that a lot of people don't know about [and] there's a lot of misinformation or lack of information." She said she is hoping to increase awareness that IUDs, while not for every woman, are safe for women who have had sexually transmitted infections, are effective for three to 10 years, and can be removed on-demand with no ill effect on fertility ("Shots," NPR, 10/2).