Intrauterine contraception in adolescents and young women: a descriptive study of use, side effects, and compliance

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2011 Feb;24(1):39-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2010.07.001.


Objective: Describe characteristics, compliance, efficacy, and side effect profile of adolescents and young women who use intrauterine contraception (IC).

Study design: Retrospective chart review of adolescent and young women who had IC devices placed over a 3-year period. Comparative statistics between devices and population characteristics were performed using the Fisher exact and the t test.

Results: Eighty-nine patients were included in the study. The mean age at insertion was 19.5 years (range 16-22 years). Copper was used in 13% of patients; levonorgestrel (LNG) was used in 87%. The mean duration of use was 331.3 days (copper vs LNG; P = .2254). Side effects included infection (9%, but no pelvic inflammatory disease), pain (28%), partner felt strings (9%), and bleeding (32%). Reasons for removal included side effects (25%), desired fertility (5%), expulsion (3%), and pregnancy (2%). There were no pregnancies associated with the LNG IC, and there were fewer removals because of side effects than with the copper IUD (P = .0180).

Conclusion: IC is a reliable method of contraception in teens and young adults. There were fewer removals because of side effects in the LNG group, although overall other variables are similar between methods.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Device Removal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices, Copper* / adverse effects
  • Intrauterine Devices, Copper* / statistics & numerical data
  • Intrauterine Devices, Medicated* / adverse effects
  • Intrauterine Devices, Medicated* / statistics & numerical data
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Patient Compliance
  • Young Adult


  • Levonorgestrel