A women’s health startup is hoping to expand the use of intrauterine devices globally by designing technology that would make the insertion of IUDs easier for physicians and more comfortable for women.
According to the company, the patent-pending device addresses the adverse effects caused by current, complicated methods of IUD insertion including infection, pain and expulsion. IUD expulsion occurs in 2 percent to 10 percent of users and has been shown to be correlated with the experience of the medical provider inserting the device.
In the U.S., the IUD currently accounts for only 10 percent of contraceptives issued by doctors, according to research firm SDI Health cited by The New York Times, but it’s growing in popularity because of its effectiveness and ease of use once inserted. The IUD is also now thought to reduce risk of cervical and endometrial cancer.
Only two types of IUDs are currently on the market, but two more are in clinical trials, according to Wired magazine.
Overall, contraceptives comprise a $15.5 billion global market that’s expected to reach more than $19 billion by 2017.