Yes, More Women Really Did Get IUDs After The Election

Photographed by Rockie Nolan

When Donald Trump won the presidential election in November, many onlookers who were worried about reproductive rights began wondering if it was time to get an IUD inserted right away. As it turns out, it looks like many women did actually get an IUD placed after the election.

According to data compiled by analysts at electronic health record AthenaHealth, the rate of IUD procedures in the U.S. increased between October and December of last year.

Analysts looked at data from 1 million patients across the AthenaHealth network of 85,000 healthcare providers and found that IUD procedures increased by 19% after the presidential election. Researchers also said that this was the first time in five years that the amount of visits for IUD procedures spiked during the months of November and December. And for commercially insured patients (who made up 75% of the participant sample), the rate of IUD-related visits went up by 25%.

The increase, notably, showed up in both liberal and conservative parts of the country, though the rate was higher in areas that supported Hillary Clinton in the election. So why the uptick?

“It certainly looks like some women are concerned that full coverage for contraceptive services will be more expensive for them, and so are getting IUDs without cost while they still can," Josh Gray, vice president of research at AthenaHealth, said in a statement.

In the wake of President Trump's electoral victory, women took to social media as well as to their doctors, concerned about whether or not they would be able to access birth control. Many also pointed out that an IUD would be a form of birth control that would last through Trump's presidency.

"The morning after the election we had an immediate uptick in calls from women who were concerned about the election," Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for reproductive rights and health at the National Women’s Law Center, told Vox. "They didn’t know if they were going to lose coverage, whether they should go out and get an IUD."

"We have some women who have called our hotline and said, ‘I need birth control that can wait out this administration and get me through the next four years,’" she added.

Not to mention, under the Affordable Care Act, birth control is considered preventive care and is provided free for insured women. However, as the GOP has announced plans to repeal the ACA, IUDs could get a whole lot more expensive.

Borschelt also told Vox that women do have some time to make these decisions if they haven't yet, though we don't know how much time that will be.

"What we’re telling women is that you won’t lose the benefit right away, but if you’ve been thinking about long-lasting contraceptives like IUDs, now might be a good time to have that conversation with your doctor," she said.