Delaware Is Training All Doctors To Insert IUDs In A Huge Birth Control Move

Getting birth control can be a huge pain in the ass, but one organization is trying to change that. Upstream USA is training Delaware doctors and nurses on inserting IUDs instead of shuffling women around from primary care physicians to gynecologists, who then have to order the device, possibly losing patients in the mix. Upstream USA is a non-profit looking to change how doctors and clinics approach birth control, and although they have run programs in Colorado and Missouri, Delaware is their biggest move yet — they’re training doctors at all publicly-funded clinics in addition to 30 to 40 large healthcare providers across the state.

The goal is to get every woman set up with contraception if they want it, whether or not they have insurance. The pill is great, but according to Vox, six women in every 100 on the pill still get pregnant. LARCS, or long-acting reversible contraceptives, like IUDs, are so much more effective. But right now, docs in most states aren’t trained to insert them or talk to women about how to use them.

Upstream USA wants to change all of that. They’ve been making the rounds to Delaware clinics and training doctors and nurses on how to insert IUDs that they’ll have in stock in the office, using a mechanical vagina that reacts to pain. This could sort of change everything.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell asked Upstream USA to help him lower the unintended pregnancy rate in the state, which is at about 57 percent, according to New York Magazine’s The Cut.So many women, and for that matter, a lot of men, see their life trajectory change dramatically as a result of an unintended pregnancy that leads to a birth,” Governor Markell told The Cut. “Then of course there’s the impact on so many children who, because of these circumstances, may get off to a rougher start. I really do believe that getting this right, the project with Upstream, could be perhaps the most important thing we do to help more people achieve their full potential.”

The program, which won’t be fully launched until 2017 after all medical practitioners have been trained and a public health campaign makes its rounds, worked in Colorado.

They were able, with the partnership with Upstream USA, to lower the teen birth rate and abortion rate by about 40 percent each, according to The New York Times. Even better, the rate of unintended pregnancies among women under the age of 25 years old was lowered by about the same rate. Colorado’s program was funded privately, but Delaware is allocating money from its public health budget to the program, and they’re expecting that it will result in Medicaid savings that can be reinvested into the program, so Markell doesn’t have to ask for a budget increase and have everything get tied up in legislation.

This is really good news. The Delaware program is pretty big, and once they get pregnancy rates down and save some money (which, obviously, they will), the model will be even easier to “sell” elsewhere. IUDs for everyone!