As Medicines360 commemorates World Contraception Day 2019, we recognize the work we’ve done and the work we have left to do. Too many women in the U.S. and across the globe still have difficulty accessing the full range of contraceptive options to live their lives on their own terms. In addition to improving contraceptive access in the U.S. for the women who need it most, Medicines360 has taken our mission global to reach women in developing countries who have an unmet need for contraceptives.
As of 2017, approximately 214 million women of reproductive age (15-49) in developing regions who want to avoid unplanned pregnancies are not using a modern contraceptive. Our global work began in the African countries of Zambia and Madagascar, where we are working with our partners Population Services International (PSI) and WCG Cares to introduce our hormonal IUD AVIBELA®. Although hormonal IUDs are one of the most effective methods of contraception, there were previously no hormonal IUDs registered in Zambia or Madagascar before AVIBELA.
Offering an affordable, effective choice for women in these countries can make a meaningful impact. A small study in Zambia showed that 57% of women who got hormonal IUDs reported that they would have chosen a short-term method or left with no method at all if a hormonal IUD had not been available. In a similar study in Madagascar, that number was 74% of women.
Women in Zambia cited effectiveness and reduced menstrual bleeding as their primary reasons for opting to use the IUD. In Madagascar, women cited fewer side effects, long-acting coverage and reduced bleeding as their primary reasons for selecting the hormonal IUD. One Malagasy woman, Honorina, shared that, “At first I was afraid to have something inside of my uterus, but now my periods are lighter again and I feel healthier.”
We are encouraged by our work with our partners to provide a highly effective contraceptive option to the women they serve. We look forward to extending our reach to other countries in the future and helping to ensure that all women, regardless of where they live, or how much money they have, can choose the best contraceptive option for themselves.
AVIBELA is a registered trademark in Zambia and Madagascar.