BENDIGO Community Health Services is looking for 20 women from the Loddon Mallee region to take part in a project to raise community awareness of intrauterine devices.
The project will be delivered with the support of renowned expert Dr Paddy Moore from the Women’s Hospital with the aim of building capacity of local health practitioners to deliver the service to the community.
Women volunteering for the project will attend the Bendigo Community Health Services Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Hub at the Central site in Hargreaves Street and need only pay for the IUD device.
Bendigo Community Health Services sexual health nurse Mary-Anne McCluskey said the project was important given the level of community knowledge about the benefits of intrauterine devices as a form of contraception was low.
“An intrauterine device is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy or help manage heavy and painful periods,” Ms McCluskey said.
“Australia offers two types of IUD — a hormonal form called Mirena and Copper IUD, which is non-hormonal.”
Ms McCluskey said there was a common misconception that IUDs were costly and hard to insert.
“The reality is both types of IUD can be inserted in a clinic room during a 20-minute consultation with no need for general anaesthetic,” she said.
“The Mirena is 99.8 per cent effective and lasts five years. With a health care card the cost is around $5.40 or with a Medicare card you’re looking at around $38.50.
“The Copper IUD is 99.2 per cent effective and lasts between five and 10 years depending on the type used. This is more expensive at around $75.’’
Ms McCluskey said IUDs provided a great alternative for women sick of taking the pill every day.
“For some women heavy periods can stop them from attending work, playing sport or studying. It just makes life challenging and an IUD is a viable option to try and change this,” she said.
Ms McCluskey said with limited places in the IUD project people interested should call the Bendigo Community Health Services Sexual and Reproductive Health Services Hub team on 5448 1600.