Objectives: To assess the profile of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) users in Europe.
Methods: A random sample of women aged 15-49 years in 14 European countries (Germany, France, UK, Spain, Italy, Russian Federation, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) underwent web-based or computer-aided face-to-face interviews in June 2006. In this paper data pertaining to a subgroup of women using LARCs are presented.
Results: A total of 11,490 women participated in the full study. Of these, 1,188 (10%) women were LARC (hormonal implant, injectables, levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system [LNG-IUS], copper intrauterine device [Cu-IUD]) users. The age of the LARC users exceeded 30 years for 57-91% of them. Furthermore, more than half of them found convenience an extremely important factor when selecting the LARC as a contraceptive method. As compared to those wearing a Cu-IUD, women using hormonal LARCs experienced fewer physical and emotional symptoms that appeared or worsened during menstruation.
Conclusions: LARCs have their place in the contraceptive market in Europe. The most popular LARCs among European women were the LNG-IUS and the Cu-IUD; both were mainly used by women who had children and had no wish to have more in the future.