Between October and December, doctor office visits that were coded for either insertions or management of intrauterine devices rose by about 19 percent, according to Athenainsight, a division of the cloud-based record-keeping and medical billing company Athenahealth.
It was the first time in years that IUD procedures and follow-up visits increased in both November and December, according to the company.
IUDs are implanted devices that cost more than birth control pills, but which last for years and which are much more effective at preventing pregnancies than the pill.
Women with health insurance who have IUDs inserted now do not — as a result of a provision in the Obamacare health-care reform law — have to pay for the devices out of pocket. Instead, their insurance plan covers 100 percent of the cost.
But if Obamacare is repealed, as the Republican president wants to do, women might have to pay out of pocket for IUD use, and for other birth control methods. Polls have shown strong support for the Obamacare provision that bars out-of-pocket costs on people who buy birth control covered by an insurance plan.
Athenahealth noted that birth control pills can cost anywhere from $160 to $600 annually, while IUDs can cost between $500 and $1,000 for initial insertion, but are longer lasting.
The increases in IUD-related visits were seen in "counties that leaned both Democratic and Republican in the 2016 presidential election," according to a summary of the findings published by Athenahealth, which examined 1 million patient visits to 85,000 health providers in the company's network.