Not again

In the year and a half after childbirth, women generally want to prevent a subsequent pregnancy. But many women in the developing world lack access to family-planning services.

A new, low-cost tool designed to insert an intrauterine device shortly after childbirth could change that.

Paul Blumenthal, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford Medicine, collaborated with colleagues at Population Services International to invent the $1 device, a long tube of silicone and plastic preloaded with an IUD. They tested the device in 80 postpartum women in India, who said placement of the IUD caused them little or no additional pain compared with the birth of their child. Blumenthal is the senior author of the study, published in March 2016 in Global Health Science and Practice.