Young Pregnant Women’s Knowledge of Modern Intrauterine Devices : Obstetrics & Gynecology

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Young Pregnant Women’s Knowledge of Modern Intrauterine Devices

Stanwood, Nancy L. MD, MPH; Bradley, Karen A. MD

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Obstetrics & Gynecology 108(6):p 1417-1422, December 2006. | DOI: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000245447.56585.a0


Modern intrauterine devices (IUDs) are safe, effective, and reversible, but only 2.1% of U.S. women use IUDs. We aimed to estimate young pregnant women’s knowledge of IUDs.


We surveyed 190 women, aged 14–25 years, presenting for prenatal or abortion care about their contraceptive history, plans, and knowledge. We asked if they had heard of IUDs and queried them on IUD characteristics.


The women were, on average, 20 years old, 27% had education past high school, and 47% had delivered a child. Half were in prenatal care, and 91% had not planned their current pregnancy. Fifty-two percent wished to wait 4 or more years before their next pregnancy, and 27% did not want to be pregnant ever again. Safety and efficacy were the most important factors in choosing a contraceptive method. Fifty percent had heard of IUDs, 71% did not know about IUDs’ safety, and 58% did not know about IUDs’ efficacy. Respondents who knew of IUDs were older (21 versus 19 years, P<.001) and more likely to be parous (55% versus 39%, P=.04).


Young women choosing contraception after a pregnancy would benefit from counseling about the relative safety and effectiveness of IUDs, allowing them to make fully informed contraceptive decisions.



© 2006 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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