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Women will soon have another option for long-acting birth control that's part of the IUD family. The Liletta intrauterine device now has FDA approval and is already being used in Europe. Similar to the IUDs Mirena and Skyla, it releases small quantities of the levonorgestrel hormone. This particular hormone thins the lining of the uterus and works to prevent egg implantation. It also thickens cervical mucus so less sperm is able to travel. It’s a small t-shaped device made of plastic that is inserted into the uterus. 

While only 8.5 percent of women in the United States that are on birth control use IUDs, they’re growing in popularity. IUDs are reportedly more effective than many of the popular choices of birth control, like the pill, shot, patch or ring. It’s also just as effective as sterilization, but fortunately, reversible so if you want children later in life, it won’t affect fertility. 

A recent study found that the new IUD was effective for over three years of use for about 99.45 percent of the participants. Regardless of your age, BMI, or whether or not you’ve already given birth, it’s safe. 

Most impressively, the developers plan to make Liletta available to public health clinics at an affordable cost, so that women, regardless of their income or insurance status, will have access to the IUD.

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