|June 2012 · Vol. 24, No. 6
Are IUDs the next morning-after pill?
Intrauterine devices should be offered as emergency contraception, shows a systemic review of 42 studies
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a highly effective form of emergency contraception, according to research published online May 8 in Human Reproduction.
Kelly Cleland, MPH, MPA, of Princeton University in New Jersey, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature to evaluate the efficacy of IUDs for emergency contraception. A total of 42 studies conducted in six countries between 1979 and 2011 were evaluated, with eight different types of IUDs in 7,034 women reviewed.
The overall pregnancy rate was 0.09%, excluding one outlier study.
The researchers found that the majority (74%) of IUD insertions occurred within five days of intercourse, and the maximum timeframe from intercourse to insertion ranged from 2 to more than 10 days.
“IUDs are a highly effective method of contraception after unprotected intercourse,” the authors write. “Because they are safe for the majority of women, highly effective and cost-effective when left in place as ongoing contraception, whenever clinically feasible, IUDs should be included in the range of emergency contraception options offered to patients presented after unprotected intercourse.”
To access the abstract, click here.
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