Article Text

Intrauterine contraception in nulliparous women: a prospective survey
  1. Alexandra M Hall1,2,
  2. Beth A Kutler3
  1. 1Physician, University of Wisconsin – Stout Student Health Services, Menomonie, WI, USA
  2. 2Physician, Gannett Health Services, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA (until June 2012)
  3. 3Nurse Practitioner, Gannett Health Services, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alexandra M Hall, Student Health Services, University of Wisconsin – Stout, 103 1st Avenue West, Menomonie, WI 54751, USA; hallale{at}


Background Intrauterine contraception is a first-line option for young women, yet relatively few prospective studies have been performed in nulliparous women using currently available devices, and many providers are still reluctant to provide this option.

Methods Between January 2012 and June 2014, 109 nulliparous women, aged 18–30 years, who had an intrauterine device (IUD) placed at a student health clinic [88 levonorgestrel-intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) users and 21 Cu T 380A (IUD) users] were surveyed at 1, 6, 12 and 18 months after insertion.

Results Overall satisfaction was high; at follow-up survey 83% of 100 women (mean use 13.4 months) were ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ with their IUD, and there were no differences in satisfaction between the two IUD types. Some 75% of participants stated that the insertion procedure went ‘very well’, despite 78% rating insertion pain as moderate to severe, and 46% experiencing vasovagal symptoms. The 12-month continuation rate was 89%, with discontinuations for expulsion (3%), side effects (6%), lack of anticipated benefit (1%) and pregnancy (1%). Users of the Cu T 380A were more likely to have heavy menses (74% vs 2%; p<0.0001) or moderate to severe cramping (68% vs 20%; p=0.0002) compared with LNG-IUS users. There were no uterine perforations or diagnoses of pelvic inflammatory disease. The rate of failed insertions during the study period was 6.2%.

Conclusions Despite significant symptoms with insertion, intrauterine contraception is safe, effective and ultimately well tolerated in nulliparous women and should be provided to this population in both university and community health settings.

  • intrauterine devices
  • intrauterine systems
  • long-acting reversible contraception

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