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01-11-2009 | Gynaecology | Article

IUD is long-acting contraceptive of choice among Europeans


Journal abstract

MedWire News: The most popular long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) among European women are the levonorgestrel (LNG)-intrauterine system (IUS) and the copper (Cu)-intrauterine device (IUD), show results of a pan-European survey.

Much uncertainty remains as to how and why women choose a particular method of contraception. “The answers to these questions can help us formulate contraceptive advice that is better adapted to the needs of the users,” said study author Sergio Haimovich (Del Mar University Hospital IMAS, Barcelona, Spain).

For the study, a random sample of 11,490 women aged 15-49 years in 14 European countries were given web-based or computer-aided face-to-face interviews about their contraceptive choices.

In total, 1188 (10 percent) women used LARCs, with 57-91 percent of these women aged 30 years or older.

The most popular LARCs were the LNG-IUS (34 percent) and the Cu-IUD (46 percent). Countries differed in their preferred devices: For example, 47 percent of LARC users in Scandinavia preferred the LNG-IUS while 92 percent of LARC users in Russia used the Cu-IUD.

The features considered to be most important when choosing a LARC were contraceptive reliability (75-90 percent), good tolerability (61-69 percent), convenience (58-73 percent), long-term effects (52-73 percent), and a favorable influence on well-being (46-57 percent).

Compared to Cu-IUD users, women using hormonal LARCs experienced fewer physical and emotional symptoms that appeared or worsened during menstruation.

Haimovich hopes that the study results will “enable a more appropriate contraceptive check to be created.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2009

By Ingrid Grasmo