Non-hormonal and hormonal intrauterine contraception: survey of patients' perceptions in four Latin American countries.Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2016 Jun; 21(3):213-9.EJ
This study sought to understand women's perceived barriers to the use of hormonal and non-hormonal intrauterine contraception in Latin America.
We developed an online survey for women in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico who were seeking contraception. The questions aimed at evaluating patient awareness of negative stories and statements, as well as perceived barriers to the copper intrauterine device (IUD) and the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS).
The survey was mailed to 2300 women. A total of 1953 responses were received from Argentina (n = 465), Brazil (n = 380), Colombia (n = 613) and Mexico (n = 495). More women reported having heard negative stories about the copper IUD than about the LNG-IUS. More women believed that the copper IUD, rather than the LNG-IUS, was suitable only for those who had already had children. More women believed that weight gain (14.3% vs. 38.2%; p < 0.001), mood swings (14.1% vs. 38.7%; p < 0.001) and infertility (16.3% vs. 19.9%; p = 0.016) were possible side effects of the LNG-IUS. By contrast, more women believed that abortion (36% vs. 22.7%; p < 0.001), pelvic infections (42.1% vs. 15.7%; p < 0.001) and ectopic pregnancy (43.5% vs 23.5%; p < 0.001) were side effects more associated with the copper IUD. More believed the copper IUD was associated with less pain during placement and removal compared with the LNG-IUS (42.8% vs. 31.2%; p < 0.001). The perception of increased risk of contracting a sexual transmitted disease did not differ between the methods (IUD vs. LNG-IUS, 21.7% vs. 20.3%; p = 0.388).
Respondents to a web-based survey in four Latin American countries have misperceptions regarding the adverse effects and risks of intrauterine contraception, which may hamper the use of these safe and efficient contraceptive methods. Education about the true risks and benefits involved is fundamental to improving patient acceptance and compliance as well as reducing unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions.