Intrauterine device insertion during the postpartum period: a systematic review

Contraception. 2009 Oct;80(4):327-36. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2009.03.024. Epub 2009 Aug 29.


Background: Insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD) at different times or by different routes during the postpartum period may increase the risk of complications.

Methods: We searched Medline, Lilacs and Cochrane Collaboration databases for articles in any language, between database inception until December 2008, which compared outcomes of postpartum IUD insertion time intervals. Search terms included postpartum, puerperium, postcesarean delivery, cesarean section, IUD(s), IUCD(s), intrauterine device(s) and insertion.

Results: From 297 articles, we identified 15 for inclusion in this review: all studies examined the outcomes from copper IUD insertions within the postpartum time period compared to other time intervals or compared routes (vaginal or via hysterotomy) of postpartum insertion. No studies of levonorgestrel IUDs were identified. Immediate IUD insertion (within 10 min of placental delivery) was safe when compared with later postpartum time periods and interval insertion. Immediate postpartum IUD insertion demonstrated lower expulsion rates when compared with delayed postpartum insertion but with higher rates than interval insertion. Immediate insertion following cesarean delivery demonstrated lower expulsion rates than immediate insertion following vaginal delivery.

Conclusion: Poor to fair quality evidence from 15 articles demonstrated no increase in risk of complications among women who had an IUD inserted during the postpartum period; however, some increase in expulsion rates occurred with delayed postpartum insertion when compared to immediate insertion and with immediate insertion when compared to interval insertion. Postplacental placements during cesarean delivery are associated with lower expulsion rates than postplacental vaginal insertions, without increasing rates of postoperative complications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices, Copper / adverse effects*
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome