Three-year continuation of reversible contraception

Justin T Diedrich, Qiuhong Zhao, Tessa Madden, Gina M Secura, Jeffrey F Peipert
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2015, 213 (5): 662.e1-8

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this analysis was to estimate the 3-year continuation rates of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods and to compare these rates to non-LARC methods.

STUDY DESIGN: The Contraceptive CHOICE Project (CHOICE) was a prospective cohort study that followed 9256 participants with telephone surveys at 3 and 6 months, then every 6 months for 2-3 years. We estimated 3-year continuation rates of baseline methods that were chosen at enrollment. The LARC methods include the 52-mg levonorgestrel intrauterine device; the copper intrauterine device, and the subdermal implant). These were then compared to rates to non-LARC hormonal methods (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, oral contraceptive pills, contraceptive patch, and vaginal ring). Eligibility criteria for this analysis included participants who started their baseline chosen method by the 3-month survey. Participants who discontinued their method to attempt conception were censored. We used a Cox proportional hazard model to adjust for confounding and to estimate the hazard ratio for risk of discontinuation.

RESULTS: Our analytic sample consisted of 4708 CHOICE participants who met inclusion criteria. Three-year continuation rates were 69.8% for users of the levonorgestrel intrauterine device, 69.7% for copper intrauterine device users, and 56.2% for implant users. At 3 years, continuation was 67.2% among LARC users and 31.0% among non-LARC users (P < .001). After adjustment for age, race, education, socioeconomic status, parity, and history of sexually transmitted infection, the hazard ratio for risk of discontinuation was 3-fold higher among non-LARC method users than LARC users (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.08; 95% confidence interval, 2.80-3.39).

CONCLUSION: Three-year continuation of the 2 intrauterine devices approached 70%. Continuation of LARC methods was significantly higher than non-LARC methods.

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