The ability of nonocclusive foreign bodies placed within the uterus to prevent pregnancy has been known for many years and was briefly tested, and then rejected, as a contraceptive method about 40 years ago (the Gräfenberg ring). Practical application of this knowledge with the development of a feasible intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) is of recent origin. Since 1959 when the first cautious testing of inert plastic IUDs began, clinical experience with these devices has been extensive. Evaluation of the IUDs has been facilitated by an excellent cooperative statistical program; data are now available on the effectiveness, complications, and acceptability of this method of fertility control in 22,403 patients with an aggregate period of use of 261,689 woman-months.1 Results reported to date cover the various sizes of four major design modifications—the loop, spiral, ring, and bow; evidence is insufficient at the present time to permit evaluation of the double spiral
Evaluation of Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices: Committee on Human Reproduction. JAMA. 1967;199(9):647–649. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120090089016
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