By Kayla Webley Adler
The IUD is the most effective contraceptive the world has ever seen. So why aren’t more women using it? One nonprofit is trying to change that.
The science is irrefutable. The intrauterine device, or IUD, an inch-long, T-shaped piece of plastic inserted in the uterus, and the implant, a matchstick-size plastic rod placed in the upper arm, are the most effective forms of birth control on the planet. The devices, collectively known as long-acting reversible contraception, or LARCs, work more than 99 percent of the time, meaning fewer than 1 in 100 women using them will get pregnant each year—a failure rate so low, it rivals sterilization. (By comparison, 9 out of 100 women taking the pill, and 18 women out of 100 using condoms, get pregnant every year.)