Intrauterine device placement at 3 versus 6 weeks postpartum: A randomized trial

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17 Scopus citations


Objective To investigate whether early placement of an intrauterine device (IUD) at 3 weeks after delivery, compared to placement at 6 weeks, is associated with greater use at 3 months postpartum. Study Design This prospective randomized, controlled trial enrolled inpatient postpartum women intending to use intrauterine contraception. Participants were assigned to an early (3 week) or standard (6 week) postpartum visit with IUD placement and were followed for 6 months. We used transvaginal ultrasonography to confirm placement and measure uterine dimensions. We measured pain with IUD insertion and satisfaction with IUD timing using 100-mm visual analog scales. Data were analyzed based on randomization and actual timing of insertion (18-24 vs. 39-45 days). Results Between February 2012 and December 2013, 201 subjects were enrolled (early = 101; standard = 100). Most participants returned for IUD placement as scheduled; 70.1% (53/75) in the early group, 74.3% (58/78) in the standard group (p =.06). IUD use did not differ between groups at 3 months (73/100, 73.0% and 73/97, 75.3%, respectively, p =.72) or 6 months (80.3% and 82.8%, p =.71) amongst those women for whom follow-up was available. Women randomized to 6-week insertion were more likely to have resumed intercourse prior to the IUD appointment (15/64, 23.4% vs. 5/68, 7.3%, p =.01). Pain with insertion (19.9 vs. 25.1, respectively, p =.21) and satisfaction (89.6 vs. 93.4, respectively, p =.23) did not vary based on actual timing of insertion. Conclusion Offering IUD placement at 3 weeks postpartum compared to standard scheduling at 6 weeks does not result in increased use at 3 months. However, early IUD placement is acceptable to women and without increased pain. Implications This study demonstrates that IUD placement as early as 3 weeks postpartum is feasible. Larger studies are needed to evaluate risks and benefits of IUD placement at this early interval. While earlier timing does not result in increased IUD uptake, early placement should be explored as an option since many women resume intercourse before 6 weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-363
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Contraception
  • Insertion timing
  • Intrauterine device
  • Postpartum
  • Uptake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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