Background: We hypothesize that barriers to IUD insertion are central to low utilization in the USA. This study evaluates methods to minimize barriers, including post-abortal insertion, staff training and simplified screening.
Study design: We obtained data on IUD utilization during three study periods: a control period (Period 1), a period after initiating post-abortal insertion and staff training (Period 2), and a period with these interventions plus simplified screening for interval insertions (Period 3). We evaluated IUD utilization, associated complications and utilization at a similar local agency in which the interventions were not implemented.
Results: We inserted 2172 IUDs during the study, including 1493 interval and 679 post-abortal insertions. In the control period, there were 28 monthly IUD insertions on average, compared to 71 (a 151% increase) and 122 (a 334% increase) in Periods 2 and 3, respectively. IUD utilization at the nearby agency remained relatively constant. Complications remained low.
Conclusions: IUD utilization can be substantially increased through relatively simple, low-cost interventions, with significant potential to reduce unintended pregnancy.