Preventing repeat abortion in Canada: is the immediate insertion of intrauterine devices postabortion a cost-effective option associated with fewer repeat abortions?

Contraception. 2012 Jan;85(1):51-5. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.05.002. Epub 2011 Jul 20.


Background: In 2005, 97,254 abortions were performed in Canada, of which 38% were repeat abortions. The objective of this research was to determine if provision of free intrauterine devices (IUDs) postabortion is associated with a reduction in health-care costs and repeat abortions in a Canadian population compared with provision of oral contraceptives (OCPs) or depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA).

Study design: A retrospective cohort study was conducted by intention-to-treat chart review in a facility providing the majority of abortions in a Canadian health region. All (n=1782) residents of this region who underwent abortion in 2003, 2004 and 2008 were included. One- and 5-year rates of repeat abortion were calculated, and a cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted to compare health-care system costs of providing patients with IUDs, OCPs or DMPA and subsequent repeat abortions.

Results: In 2003 and 2004, 1101 index abortions occurred. The main contraceptive cohorts were immediate IUD insertion (n=117, 10.6%), immediate OCP (n=413, 37.5%) and immediate DMPA administration (n=357, 32.4%). After 5 years repeat abortion rates in the respective cohorts were: IUD, 9.4%, OCP, 17.4%, DMPA, 16.2% (p=.05). One-year rates of repeat abortion were not significantly different. Costs of providing contraception and subsequent abortions over 5 years were $142.63 (IUD), $385.61 (OCP) and $384.81 (DMPA) per user.

Conclusion: The immediate insertion of IUDs postabortion is associated with a lower 5-year rate of repeat abortion than provision of OCPs or DMPA. A cost reduction to the health-care system occurs when providing IUDs postabortion vs. alternate contraception of equivalent duration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / economics
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices / economics*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female