Impact of long-acting reversible contraception on return for repeat abortion

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Jan;206(1):37.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.06.102. Epub 2011 Jul 13.


Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the rate of return for repeat abortion in relation to postabortion contraceptive method choice 24 months onward from an intervention study.

Study design: This was a prospective cohort study involving a hospital note search for 510 women 24 months after an abortion.

Results: Women using long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods (intrauterine device [IUD] and depot medroxyprogesterone acetate) had significantly lower return rates for repeat abortion (6.45%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.0-9.8) than non-LARC users, of whom 14.5% returned (95% CI, 9.9-20.2). A Cox proportional hazard analysis showed that the postabortion method choice was significantly related to the likelihood of returning for a repeat abortion (P = .002), controlling for major demographic factors and previous pregnancy history. Using the pill as a reference group for risk of repeat abortion, the IUD hazard ratio (HR) was 0.36 (95% CI, 0.17-0.77), the depot medroxyprogesterone acetate HR was 0.55 (95% CI, 0.21-1.45), and the HR for all other methods was 1.8 (95% CI, 0.83-3.92).

Conclusion: This study provides strong support for the promotion of immediate postabortion access to LARC methods (particularly intrauterine devices) to prevent repeat abortion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage*
  • Contraceptive Devices, Female / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / administration & dosage*
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate