Latest Research

A Popular Birth Control Method Linked To Bacterial Vaginosis

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 Initiating an intrauterine device (IUD) with copper over a 180-day period significantly increased the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in a group of women seeking contraception in Zimbabwe, while hormonal contraceptive methods did not affect BV prevalence. In the 234 women using the copper IUD, BV prevalence was assessed at baseline and at 30, 90 and 180 days, and was 27% (slightly higher than the BV prevalence in American women), 35%, 40%, and 49% respectively. While beneficial lactobacilli frequency and density levels did not change in the copper IUD participants’ vaginal microbiome, an increase in Gardnerella vaginalis and Atopobium vaginae was observed. Overall, copper IUDs increased the relative risk of BV by twofold. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology

→Takeaway: This study highlights the negative effects of copper IUDs on the vaginal microbiome, yet previous studies have illustrated the negative impacts of hormonal contraception on the gut microbiome. For individuals seeking a healthy method of birth control, the landscape can be confusing. It’s important to know that no medical contraception is without risk and educating yourself on what those risks are before choosing a form of birth control is key.

Leslie Ann received her BA from the University of Notre Dame and has a Master’s degree in Public Health and Nutrition from Johns Hopkins University. With over a decade of experience working in the health and wellness field as a nutritionist, health writer, and project manager, Leslie Ann is the backbone of the Gutbliss team, overseeing operations as well as the strategic mission of Gutbliss Rx, and authoring much of the content on the site. As a certified yoga teacher and personal trainer, she is an avid believer in integrative methods to treat and heal the body.

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