Background The intrauterine device (IUD) is a long-acting reversible contraceptive method that is safe for a wide range of women, including adolescents and nulliparous women. Globally, it is often underutilised due to misperceptions among patients. Examination of characteristics associated with IUD discontinuation including adverse effects and IUD expulsion can inform provider practices to improve contraception success and patient satisfaction with this method. We studied IUD performance at a public family planning clinic in Buenos Aires, Argentina, serving a predominantly immigrant, low-income population.
Methods We conducted a retrospective evaluation of 1047 IUD insertions between 2002 and 2007 with 5 years of follow-up data. We performed bivariate and survival analysis to examine characteristics associated with IUD discontinuation: adverse outcomes including pain, bleeding, and IUD expulsion, and time to removal.
Findings Of 1047 patients, only 188 (18%) had their IUD removed within 5 years. The main causes of IUD discontinuation were involuntary (38%) reasons such as an IUD expulsion and personal choice (34%) such as desiring pregnancy.
Conclusions Findings suggest overall good long-term performance with IUD insertion, with minimal complaints or adverse outcomes. These findings may help to support providers serving similar populations in promoting this method.
- intrauterine devices
- long-acting reversible contraception
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