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IUD discontinuation rates, switching behavior, and user satisfaction: findings from a retrospective analysis of a mobile outreach service program in Pakistan

Authors Azmat SK, Hameed W, Mustafa G, Hussain W, Ahmed A, Bilgrami M

Received 6 August 2012

Accepted for publication 26 November 2012

Published 10 January 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 19—27

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S36785

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Syed Khurram Azmat, Waqas Hameed, Ghulam Mustafa, Wajahat Hussain, Aftab Ahmed, Mohsina Bilgrami

Marie Stopes Society, Research and Metrics Department, Technical Services, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan

Background: In Pakistan, the uptake rate for the intrauterine device (IUD) is very low at 2.5%. The most popular modern contraceptive methods in Pakistan are female sterilization and use of condoms. The Marie Stopes Society established its mobile outreach service delivery program with the aim of increasing use of modern quality contraceptive services, including the long-term reversible IUD, by women living in hard-to-reach areas. The present study attempts to assess IUD discontinuation rates and associated factors, including switching behavior and level of satisfaction with this type of service delivery.
Methods: Using a cross-sectional approach, we contacted 681 women who had received an IUD from the Marie Stopes Society mobile outreach program during July and August 2009. Successful interviews were conducted with 639 of these women using a structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed with Stata 11.2 using simple descriptive Chi-square and Cox proportional techniques.
Results: Analysis revealed that 19.4% (95% confidence interval 16.3–22.5) of the women discontinued use of their IUD at 10 months and, of these women, the majority (69.4%) cited side effects as the main reason for discontinuation. Other factors, such as geographical catchment province, age of the woman, history of contraceptive use before IUD insertion, and side effects following insertion of the device, were found to be significantly associated with IUD. Amongst the women who had their IUD removed, 56.5% did not switch to any other contraceptive method, while 36.3% switched to either short-term or traditional methods, such as withdrawal, rhythm, and folk methods. Degree of satisfaction with the device was also significantly associated with discontinuation.
Conclusion: Early discontinuation and not switching to another contraceptive method increases the risk of unplanned pregnancy. Health care workers should be trained in managing clients' concerns about the IUD to prevent discontinuation and providing counseling services for clients to select an alternative contraceptive method if they decide to discontinue.

Keywords: intrauterine device, mobile outreach services, discontinuation, Pakistan

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