Free-of-charge long-acting reversible contraception: two-year discontinuation, its risk factors, and reasons.Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Jun 17 [Online ahead of print]AJ
Since 2013, the residents of the city of Vantaa, Finland, have been offered their first long-acting reversible contraceptive method (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system, implant, and copper intrauterine device) free of charge.
The primary aim of this study was to assess the 2-year cumulative discontinuation rates of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods when provided free of charge for first-time users in a real-world setting. Additional aims were to describe factors associated with discontinuation and to evaluate the reasons for discontinuation.
This is a retrospective register-based cohort study of 2026 nonsterilized women aged 15 to 44 years, who initiated a free-of-charge long-acting contraceptive method in 2013-2014 in the city of Vantaa. Removals within 2 years after method initiation and reasons for discontinuation were obtained from electronic health records and from national registers. We calculated the 2-year cumulative incidence rates of discontinuation with 95% confidence intervals for each method. Furthermore, we assessed crude and adjusted incidence rate ratios of discontinuation with 95% confidence interval by Poisson regression models comparing implants and copper intrauterine device with levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine systems.
During the 2 -year follow-up, 514 women discontinued, yielding a cumulative discontinuation rate of 28.3 per 100 women-years (95% confidence interval, 26.2-30.4). Among the 1199 women who initiated the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system, the cumulative discontinuation rate was 24.2 per 100 women-years (95% confidence interval, 21.7-26.9); among the 642 implant users, 33.3 per 100 women-years (95% confidence interval, 29.5-37.4); and among the 185 copper intrauterine device users, 37.8 per 100 women-years (95% confidence interval, 31.0-45.7). Compared with women aged 30 to 44 years, women aged 15 to 19 years (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.58; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-2.14) and 20 to 29 years (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-1.63) were more likely to discontinue. We observed a higher discontinuation rate in women who had given birth within the previous year (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-1.65), spoke a native language other than Finnish or Swedish (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.31; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-1.63), and had a history of a sexually transmitted infection (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.62; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-2.46). No association was found in marital status, overall parity, history of induced abortion, socioeconomic status, education level, or smoking status. The most common reason for discontinuation was bleeding disturbances, reported by 21% of women who discontinued the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system, by 71% who discontinued the implant, and by 41% who discontinued the copper intrauterine device. One in 4 women who discontinued the copper intrauterine device reported heavy menstrual bleeding, whereas only 1% who discontinued the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system and none who discontinued implants reported this reason. Abdominal pain was the reported reason for discontinuation in 20% of both intrauterine device users and in only 2% who discontinued implants.
At 2 years, the use of implants and copper intrauterine devices was more likely to be discontinued than that of the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system. Women younger than 30 years and those who gave birth in the preceding year, spoke a native language other than Finnish or Swedish, or had a history of sexually transmitted infections were more likely to discontinue. The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system was least likely to be removed owing to bleeding disturbances.