The New (Old) Alternative to the Pill

How public-health experts are rebranding the IUD

If you're a woman in the U.S., you'd be forgiven for being wary of the intrauterine device. The reversible contraceptive--which is popular globally--has a dark past in the States, after the Dalkon Shield, a '70s-era IUD, was linked to pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility and was subsequently beset by lawsuits. Consumer mistrust has lingered ever since.

But that was then. Although today's IUDs aren't perfect, experts say they're safe and cheaper (in the long term) than the Pill. And usage is rising: roughly 8.5% of American women who use contraceptives use IUDs, up from 5.5% in 2007 and 2.4% in 2002....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!