09/25/11 — Health officials seek to recommend better birth control

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Health officials seek to recommend better birth control

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 25, 2011 1:50 AM

The medical director for the Wayne County Health Department asked the Board of Health this week to approve use of the copper IUD as the primary form of contraception recommended to patients.

Dr. Ashton Griffin said that method of birth control has been well-received by patients in the family planning clinics, particularly young girls who have had one baby and do not want a subsequent pregnancy.

Part of the problem, officials have said, is that some of the patients may fail to show up for appointments or fill a prescription for birth control pills, or forget to take them. Griffin suggested the device, inserted into the uterus by a doctor, is more of a fool-proof deterrent to pregnancy.

When the board opened up its regular monthly meeting in June as an evening public forum to discuss the economic impact of teen pregnancy and teen health issues, Griffin said he believed the copper IUD has been tremendously underused.

"It gives 10 years of birth control -- you set it and forget it," he said at the time. "If we're going with birth control, we ought to really promote an effective and clinically clean means of birth control."

At Wednesday's meeting, he raised the issue more formally, asking for the board to take action, "giving your stamp of approval on our pursuing the IUD as our primary use of preventive long-term contraception."

"Everyone I have talked to is really looking for a way not to get pregnant," he said. "I think this is where we need to go."

No action was taken at that time, but Dr. Rick Stovall, chairman, suggested the issue be put on the next agenda for more extended discussion. That meeting is scheduled for Oct. 19.