With an estimated 4 million unintentional pregnancies each year, gynecologists are urging their patients switch from oral contraceptives to an intrauterine device (IUD). Just three years after doctors cast it off as unsuitable, the IUD is reigning supreme.
When teen pregnancy numbers hit an all-time low (PDF) this May, no less than the experts at the Brookings Institute pointed to the fear-mongering power of MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant as the driving factor behind it. Watching the social lives of new parents fizzle while their stress levels soared did for the American teen, it seems, what decades of free condoms and sex talks could not.
But a strict adherence to safe sex didn’t completely take over the rhetoric, especially not among the actual grown-ups. Of the 4 million live births in the U.S. each year, half are estimated (PDF) to be unplanned or unintended—the largest majority of which come from women in their 20s. Out of these pregnancies, four in 10 will end in abortion.