Objective: We sought to examine the short-term (3- and 6-month), self-reported bleeding and cramping patterns with intrauterine devices (IUDs) and the contraceptive implant, and the association of these symptoms with method satisfaction.
Study design: We analyzed 3- and 6-month survey data from IUD and implant users in the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, a prospective cohort study. Participants who received a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) method (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system [LNG-IUS], copper IUD, or the etonogestrel implant) and completed their 3- and 6-month surveys were included. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to examine the association of bleeding and cramping patterns with short-term satisfaction.
Results: Our analytic sample included 5011 Contraceptive CHOICE Project participants: 3001 LNG-IUS users, 826 copper IUD users, and 1184 implant users. At 3 months, >65% of LNG-IUS and implant users reported no change or decreased cramping, while 63% of copper IUD users reported increased menstrual cramping. Lighter bleeding was reported by 67% of LNG-IUS users, 58% of implant users, and 8% of copper IUD users. Satisfaction of all LARC methods was high (≥90%). LARC users with increased menstrual cramping (relative risk adjusted [RRadj], 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72-0.85), heavier bleeding (RRadj, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.76-0.92), and increased bleeding frequency (RRadj, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.67-0.80) were less likely to report being very satisfied at 6 months.
Conclusion: Regardless of the LARC method, satisfaction at 3 and 6 months is very high. Changes in self-reported bleeding and cramping are associated with short-term LARC satisfaction.
Keywords: contraception; intrauterine device; long-acting reversible contraception; subdermal implant.
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