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Plan won’t sway local women, doctor says


Price doesn’t seem to be a determining factor for Fort Wayne women when choosing a contraceptive, a local official says.

However, women are more likely to choose a less expensive option within a certain category of contraceptives, says Women’s Health Advantage OB-GYN Todd Rumsey. For example, the price of a birth control pill might range from $6 to $80 a month, depending on whether the pill is a generic form and on whether a woman’s insurance will cover part of the cost, Rumsey says.

Rumsey has been in private practice since 1995, and over the years, he has seen more women moving toward longer-term birth control options, though he guesses that the most common form of contraceptive locally is condoms or natural family planning.

“I think that the (intrauterine device) and the Essure are the ones I’m seeing increasing,” he says. “While the use of a birth control pill will reduce uterine and ovarian cancers by 50 percent, women are concerned by the use of hormones. But hormonal contraceptive is more reliable.”

Rumsey calls Essure “probably the most exciting thing in 10 years” for women’s health care. The permanent birth control procedure is done in-office through the cervix, so there are no incisions and no need to be put to to sleep. The doctor places a small micro-insert into each fallopian tube, which will block the tube after three months.

Right now, 15 percent of women are using the product, Rumsey says.

IUDs also are becoming more popular, he says. At about $800 to implant, the device may seem expensive at first, but it averages to about $14 a month if the cost is spread over five years – the average time an IUD remains effective.

Rumsey doesn’t believe more women will start to use contraceptives once the national health care plan goes into affect. He also doubts it will affect their decision.

“I honestly don’t think it will make a difference in which (method) they choose,” he says.