Continuation Rates Compared for IUDs, Other Contraceptives

Researchers carried out a systematic review of 9 studies comparing IUD use
Researchers carried out a systematic review of 9 studies comparing IUD use

Continuation rates for intrauterine devices (IUDs) were generally higher vs. other contraceptive methods for women aged ≤25 years.  

IUDs are long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) that have demonstrated high efficacy in preventing pregnancy. However, not much is known about IUD adherence among adolescents. Researchers from the Columbia University School of Nursing conducted a systematic search from 1946–2015 to examine IUD continuation rates vs. other forms of contraception in these women. 

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The studies included in the review compared IUD use to another form of contraception and measured continuation rates at 12 months. Of the total 3,597 articles returned, nine met the criteria for the systematic review. The studies showed that 12-month continuation rates were significantly higher for IUD users vs. oral contraceptives (86.5% vs. 39.6%). IUD continuation rates were also higher when compared with vaginal ring (48.9%), Depo-Provera hormonal injection (39.8%), and transdermal patch (39.8%) (all P-values <0.001). 

No statistically significant difference in 12-month continuation between the IUD and the subdermal etonogestrel implant (85.3%), another LARC method, was noted. 

Based on the study findings, IUD use should be encouraged in a population with high rates of unintended pregnancies, overall low adherence, and imperfect use with other non-LARCs, researchers concluded. 

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