Few Women Tell Doctors When They Stop Having Children

Positive Pregnancy Test
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Most women don’t tell their doctors they are done having children, a study a survey found.

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive at the request of Conceptus, Inc. a company which performs an FDA-approved permanent birth control procedure.

The survey included 1,006 mothers in the U.S. It showed more than 75 percent of women reported that they were finished having children but only 24 percent discussed it with their OB/GYNs.

The online survey asked questions of women ages 28-48 who have at least one child and are married or in a committed relationship.

The survey showed that women who were not discussing the issue with their OB/GYN were largely unaware of permanent birth control options, such as low awareness for non-surgical permanent birth control methods like the Essure procedure, which has been available in the U.S. since 2002.

The authors wrote that the Essure procedure is the most effective form of permanent birth control available.

"I was surprised that so many women who report being done having children are not talking to their healthcare providers about their decision," said Dr. Linda Bradley, President of AAGL and a practicing OB/GYN.

Living in such a distressed economy couples are more likely to hold off on a second, third, or fourth child or they may just be content with their family.

Some women turn to daily birth controls while others get their “tubes tied,” and some use the “responsible” method, which doesn’t always work. 

"Permanent birth control can be an ideal solution for couples who are content with their families and want to avoid future unplanned pregnancies,” Bradley said. “However, most women are unaware of permanent options that do not require surgery, revealing a huge opportunity for us, as physicians, to educate our patients."

The survey showed that nearly 90 percent of women knew about vasectomies and tubal ligation, as these are typically the first options most couples consider when they are done having children.

Only 12 percent were aware of non-surgical, minimally invasive solutions such as Essure.

However, many of the surveyed women chose to stick with the less effective familiar methods like condoms, which have a 15 percent commercial failure rate, or the pill, which has an 8 percent commercial failure rate, even though they said that effectiveness was one of the most important factors when considering permanent birth control.

A 10-year global study by the AAGL shows that the commercial use of Essure in approximately 500,000 women has a clinical effectiveness rate of 99.8 percent.

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