According to a new study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project based at UT-Austin, Mexican-born women who recently gave birth have an easier time obtaining long-acting birth control like intrauterine devices (IUDs) in Mexico than in the United States.
A couple of years ago, researchers surveyed a group of Mexican-born women who recently gave birth and were living in Austin and El Paso at the time.
“We only interviewed women who did not want to have another kid in the next two years,” said Joseph Potter, the principle investigator on the study.
He says he and others interviewed these women at three, six and nine months after giving birth and asked them about birth control.
“Each time we kept asking them not only what they liked to be using, but the method they were actually using,” he said.
The study found more than half of the women surveyed wanted to use an IUD or other long-acting reversible contraceptive – only 8 percent were actually using them.
They also found women were more likely to be using a less effective method.
Dr. Ted Held, an OBGYN in Austin, has also done this kind of research and he says this story is common in Texas.
“I remember we had one patient who said, ‘I tried my hardest to get an IUD, but I couldn’t find a doctor to put in me for less than 800 bucks – so, I had to go to Mexico to get an IUD where I have relatives,’” Held explained.