Obstetrician-gynecologists and contraception: practice and opinions about the use of IUDs in nulliparous women, adolescents and other patient populations. Academic Article uri icon


  • Use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) by US women is low despite their suitability for most women of reproductive age and in a variety of clinical contexts. This study examined obstetrician-gynecologists' practices and opinions about the use of IUDs in adolescents, nulliparous women and other patient groups, as well as for emergency contraception.A survey questionnaire was sent to a computer-generated sample of 3000 fellows who were reflective of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (College) membership.After exclusions from the 1552 returned surveys (51.7% response rate), 1150 eligible questionnaires were analyzed. Almost all obstetrician-gynecologists (95.8%) reported providing IUDs, but only 66.8% considered nulliparous women, and 43.0% considered adolescents appropriate candidates. Even among obstetrician-gynecologists who recalled reading a College publication about IUDs, only 78.0% and 45.0% considered nulliparous women and adolescents appropriate candidates, respectively. Few respondents (16.1%) had recommended the copper IUD as emergency contraception, and only 73.9% agreed that the copper IUD could be used as emergency contraception. A total of 67.3% of respondents agreed that an IUD can be inserted immediately after an abortion or miscarriage. Fewer (43.5%) agreed that an IUD can be inserted immediately postpartum, and very few provide these services (11.4% and 7.2%, respectively). Staying informed about practice recommendations for long-acting reversible contraception was associated with broader provision of IUDs.Although most obstetrician-gynecologists offer IUDs, many exclude appropriate candidates for IUD use, both for emergency contraception and for long-term use, despite evidence-based recommendations.This study shows that obstetrician-gynecologists still do not offer IUDs to appropriate candidates, such as nulliparous women and adolescents, and rarely provide the copper IUD as emergency contraception.Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • June 2014