Contraception 2014 Feb 26. pii: S0010-7824(14)00054-7. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2014.02.007.

Routine counseling about intrauterine contraception for women seeking emergency contraception

Schwarz EB, Papic M, Parisi SM, Baldauf E, Rapkin R and Updike G


Objective: To compare contraceptive knowledge and use among women seeking emergency contraception (EC) before and after an inner-city clinic began providing structured counseling and offering same-day intrauterine device (IUD) or implant placement to all women seeking EC.

Study design: For 8 months before and 21 months after this change in clinic policy, women aged 1545 who wanted to avoid pregnancy for at least 6 months were asked to complete surveys immediately, 3 and 12 months after their clinic visit. In addition, we abstracted electronic medical record (EMR) data on all women who sought EC (n = 328) during this period. We used chi-squared tests to assess pre/post differences in survey and EMR data.

Results: Surveys were completed by 186 women. After the clinic began offering structured counseling, more women had accurate knowledge of the effectiveness of IUDs, immediately and 3 months after their clinic visit. In addition, more women initiated IUD or implant use (survey: 40% vs. 17% preintervention, p = 0.04; EMR: 22% vs. 10% preintervention, p = 0.01), and fewer had no contraceptive use (survey: 3% vs. 17% preintervention, p <0.01; EMR: 32% vs. 68%, p<0.01) in the 3 months after seeking EC. EMR data indicate that when same-day placement was offered, 11.0% of women received a same-day IUD. Of those who received a same-day IUD, 88% (23/26) reported IUD use at 3-months and 80% (12/15) at 12 months.

Conclusions: Routine provision of structured counseling with the offer of same-day IUD placement increases knowledge and use of IUDs 3 months after women seek EC.

Implications: Women seeking EC from family planning clinics should be offered counseling about highly effective reversible contraceptives with the option of same-day contraceptive placement.

Comment: This paper shows an additional benefit of IUDs as emergency contraception; they also provide immediate long-term contraception to the users. (HMV)