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A randomized controlled trial of 2% lidocaine gel for IUD insertion

Rebecca Allen, Women and Infants Hospital, 2010
See also executive summary.

Project abstract

The intrauterine device (IUD) is a long-acting, highly effective, reversible contraceptive that may be underutilized due to fear of pain during insertion. Although providers frequently prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for IUD insertion, there is no evidence for any pain reduction. In fact, no interventions evaluated in randomized controlled trials have been shown to be effective in reducing pain during IUD insertion. While many women tolerate IUD insertion well, others have moderate to severe pain.

This double-blind randomized controlled trial of 150 women aims to estimate the efficacy of intracervical 2% lidocaine gel compared to placebo gel to reduce IUD insertion pain. Our hypothesis is that women who are treated with 2% lidocaine gel prior to IUD insertion will have reduced pain as measured on a 0 mm to 100 mm Visual Analog Scale (VAS). We will be able to detect a 15 mm difference on the VAS with our sample size. Other data to be collected include information regarding age, BMI, obstetric history, lactation status, time since pregnancy or delivery, last menstrual period, history of cervical conization, anxiety levels, anticipated pain levels, insertion characteristics (time, difficulty, complications), side effects, and satisfaction with pain control.

If 2% lidocaine gel is effective, then a viable, easily administered option for pain control will be available to providers and patients.

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