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In this journal issue, Speedie and colleagues1 examine whether the type of stabilising forceps (single-toothed tenaculum vs atraumatic forceps) applied to the cervix during intrauterine device (IUD) insertion influences the pain perceived among women who have had a vaginal delivery. They randomised 100 parous women and found that mean pain scores at the time of forceps application on a 0–10 cm visual analogue scale (VAS) were 1.5±1.8 for the single-toothed tenaculum and 1.2±1.6 for the atraumatic (Littlewoods) forceps (p=0.52). As expected, pain scores for IUD insertion itself were low among this group of women (3.3±2.1, single-toothed tenaculum vs 2.7±2.2, atraumatic forceps, p=0.10). This finding is similar to a randomised controlled trial performed in the USA comparing single-toothed and atraumatic tenaculum types among 80 women undergoing IUD insertion, approximately half of whom had experienced …
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