Immediate postabortal insertion of intrauterine devices

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jun 16:(6):CD001777. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001777.pub3.


Background: Insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD) immediately after an abortion has several advantages. The woman is known not to be pregnant. Many clinicians refuse to insert an IUD in a woman who is not menstruating. After induced abortion, a woman's motivation to use contraception may be high. However, insertion of an IUD immediately after a pregnancy ends carries risks, such as spontaneous expulsion due to recent cervical dilation.

Objectives: To assess the safety and efficacy of IUD insertion immediately after spontaneous or induced abortion.

Search strategy: We searched MEDLINE, CENTRAL, POPLINE, EMBASE,, and ICTRP. We also contacted investigators to identify other trials.

Selection criteria: We sought all randomized controlled trials with at least one treatment arm that involved IUD insertion immediately after an induced abortion or after curettage for spontaneous abortion. We identified 11 trials which described random assignment.

Data collection and analysis: We evaluated the methodological quality of each report and abstracted the data. We focused on discontinuation rates for accidental pregnancy, perforation, expulsion, and pelvic inflammatory disease. We computed the weighted average of the rate ratios. We computed relative risks (RR) with 95% Confidence Intervals (CI).

Main results: Three trials randomized to immediate or delayed insertion. One showed no significant differences. Meta-analysis of two showed use of levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system or CuT380A was more likely for immediate versus delayed insertion (RR 1.18; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.28). Another trial randomized to the levonorgestrel IUD or Nova T; discontinuation rates due to pregnancy were 0.8 and 9.5, respectively. Sub-analysis showed higher expulsion rates for postabortal than interval insertions (levonorgestrel: 2.8 versus 6.8; Nova T: 3.0 versus 8.3).Seven trials examined immediate insertion. From meta-analysis of two multicenter trials, pregnancy was less likely for the TCu 220C versus the Lippes Loop (RR 0.38; 95% CI 0.20 to 0.72) as was expulsion (RR 0.51; 95% CI 0.30 to 0.88). Estimates for the TCu 220 versus the Copper 7 were 0.52 (95% CI 0.36 to 0.77) and 0.58 (95% CI 0.39 to 0.87), respectively. In other work, adding copper sleeves to the Lippes Loop improved efficacy (RR 3.82; 95% CI 1.41 to 10.36) and reduced expulsion (RR 3.37; 95% CI 1.65 to 6.90).

Authors' conclusions: Insertion of an IUD immediately after abortion is safe and practical. IUD expulsion rates appear higher than after interval insertions. However, IUD use is higher at six months with immediate than with interval insertion.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Device Expulsion
  • Intrauterine Devices*
  • Intrauterine Devices, Copper
  • Intrauterine Devices, Medicated
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Time Factors


  • Levonorgestrel