Background: Many misconceptions still prevail about the appropriateness of use of the intrauterine device (IUD), particularly for younger women. This study examines the factors associated with post abortion IUD use as compared to the combined oral contraceptive pill (COC). It then examines the effect of type of post abortion contraception with the likelihood of seeking subsequent abortions.
Study design: This prospective cohort study followed, for a period of 3 years, 1422 women who had a first trimester surgical abortion between November 2004 and January 2005 in Auckland's public abortion clinic.
Results: Compared to women who left the clinic with COC, those leaving with an IUD (OR 0.3) at baseline were less likely to return for a subsequent abortion. Among women who had not had a previous termination, younger women were less likely than older women to have had an IUD inserted post abortion. With every additional live birth, women were three times as likely to have left the abortion clinic with an IUD. Among women who had had a previous termination, age was no longer significantly associated with post abortion IUD insertion. However, parity was still significantly associated, as was having a negative sexually transmitted infection test.
Conclusions: Young and nulliparous women are less likely to use an IUD as a method of contraception following an abortion. However, those women who have an IUD inserted following an abortion are much less likely to return for a subsequent abortion. IUDs are a safe and effective method of contraception that are currently still underused among the younger population.
Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.