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EC choice and outcomes: The copper T380A IUD vs. oral levonorgestrel for emergency contraception

David Turok, University of Utah, 2009
See also executive summary.

Project abstract

Widely available oral levonorgestrel (LNG) for emergency contraception (EC) has not reduced unplanned pregnancy rates. However, use of the copper IUD may because it is a much more effective method of EC and also provides highly effective long-term contraception.

The objective of this research project is to use qualitative and quantitative research methods to investigate women’s ambivalence about committing to long-term contraception when they present for EC and to assess how the selection of the copper IUD versus oral LNG for EC affects future use of an effective method of contraception.

Our multi-disciplinary Family Planning Research Group proposes the following aims to provide needed information to this understudied area:

  • Aim 1: Determine factors that shape women’s decisions about using the copper IUD and oral LNG for EC.
  • Aim 2: Compare 3- and 6- month rates of adoption/continuation of effective contraception between women selecting the copper IUD vs. those selecting oral LNG for EC.

The study aims will be accomplished with a qualitative research project to determine factors influencing EC method choice, and by a prospective observational trial of women who choose the copper IUD or oral LNG for EC. We will recruit women who present for EC at two participating family planning clinics and follow study participants for 6 months.

Data obtained from our qualitative research will be used in future projects to create and assess the impact of educational tools informing women presenting for EC about their options for long-term contraception. Ultimately, we will expand the quantitative portion of the study to assess whether choosing the copper IUD vs. oral LNG for EC reduces unplanned pregnancies in the following year. Our research will aid family planning practitioners to meet the long-term contraceptive needs of women presenting for EC and if successful may reduce unplanned pregnancies in this high-risk group.

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