Changes in use of long acting contraceptive methods in the United States 2007 to 2009

Capsule:
The proportion of US contraceptors using the IUD and implant increased from 2.4% in 2002 to 3.7% in 2007 and 8.5% in 2009, more than offsetting decreases in sterilization.

Authors:
Lawrence B. Finer, Ph.D., Jenna Jerman, M.P.H., Megan L. Kavanaugh, M.P.H., Dr.P.H.

Volume 98, Issue 4, Pages 893-897, October 2012

Abstract:

Objectives:
To examine trends in use of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods—the intrauterine device (IUD)and implant—and the extent to which these methods have replaced permanent sterilization and less-effective short-acting methods.

Design:
We tabulated data from female survey respondents overall and by demographic subgroups. We performed t-tests of the differences in the proportions of female contraceptors using LARC in 2007 and 2009. We also looked at use of LARC, sterilization, other methods, and no method among women at risk of unintended pregnancy.

Setting:
In-home survey.

Patients:
All female respondents to the surveys.

Interventions:
None.

Main outcome measures:
Current use of LARC methods in 2009, and change in use from 2007.

Results:
The proportion of contraceptors using LARC increased significantly from 2.4% in 2002 to 3.7% in 2007 and 8.5% in 2009. The increase occurred among women in almost every age, race, education and income group. Among women at risk of unintended pregnancy, increases in LARC use more than offset decreases in sterilization.

Conclusions:
LARC methods (primarily IUDs) are contributing to an increase in contraceptive effectiveness in the United States.

  • khwang

    I completely agree. It’s great to see that the study confirms what I find clinically in that IUDs are much more accepted across all ages groups now. Appropriate counseling is imperative in dispelling old misconceptions and highlighting the efficacy and safety of IUDs.

  • I agree that this study reveals a very positive trend regarding long-acting reversible contraception. Arguably, though, the rate of less than 10% still leaves a lot of room for improvement, and there are still many misperceptions regarding IUDs. In clinical practice, counseling about the benefits of IUDs should be enforced, especially for patients considering surgical sterilization (ie no patient should undergo surgical sterilization without knowing about IUDs as a similarly efficacious but reversible option).

  • laurenwroth

    This is great news! From my own anecdotal experience, I think IUDs are becoming more accepted by patients (including adolescents). This study would support that finding. Hopefully LARC use will continue to increase and cause a decrease in unintended pregnancy rates.

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