Influence of IUD perceptions on method discontinuation

Contraception. 2008 Oct;78(4):290-3. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2008.05.009. Epub 2008 Jul 30.


Objective: The study was conducted to assess how misbeliefs and fears about intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs) can influence the rate of early discontinuation of this method.

Study design: This is a prospective survey conducted at the Family Planning Clinic at Al-Habibia Maternity Teaching Hospital (Baghdad, Iraq). Two hundred women presenting to the family planning clinic with requests for premature IUD removal were administered a structured questionnaire to ascertain demographic information and reasons for removal request. Careful and sympathetic questioning was essential in order to obtain correct information. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: Slightly over half of the women (52.8%) gave only one reason for requesting removal, while the remaining (47.5%) women had two or three complaints. Side effects were the principal reason for request for removal in both groups (45.7% and 42.6%). In the group that offered only one reason, IUD side effects, device-related issues, fears about the device and pregnancy or seeking pregnancy were the reported reasons. In the group that offered more than one reason, each had two or three complaints. IUD side effects and fears about the device were the most prevalent (42.6% and 41.8%, respectively); these fears and perceptions were reported more frequently among younger users and among those requesting early removal.

Conclusion: Fears and misbeliefs about IUD contributed to discontinuation of use in almost half of the women requesting IUD removal. These elements were more common among younger women and, noticeably, among those who requested early removal.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraception Behavior / psychology*
  • Family Planning Services*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices / adverse effects*
  • Iraq
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult