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Knowledge and attitudes of Latin American obstetricians and gynecologists regarding intrauterine contraceptives

Authors Bahamondes L, Makuch MY, Monteiro I, Marin V, Lynen R

Received 7 March 2015

Accepted for publication 17 April 2015

Published 16 July 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 717—722


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Luis Bahamondes,1 Maria Y Makuch,1 Ilza Monteiro,1 Victor Marin,2 Richard Lynen3

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital Central, Petróleos Mexicanos, México City, Mexico; 3Bayer HealthCare, Newark, NJ, USA

Background: Intrauterine contraceptives (IUCs), including the copper intrauterine device and the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS), are among the reversible contraceptive methods with high effectiveness. However, use is low in many settings, including some Latin American countries, mainly due to the influences of myths, fears, and negative attitudes, not only of users and potential users, but also of different cadres of health care professionals. The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge and attitudes of a group of Latin American obstetricians and gynecologists regarding IUCs.
Methods: A survey was conducted during a scientific meeting organized in Chile in 2014 to present and discuss updated information about contraception. Obstetricians and gynecologists from 12 Latin American countries, who reported that they provide daily contraception services in both the public and private sectors, participated in the meeting. Participants who agreed to take part in the survey responded to a multiple-choice questionnaire on issues regarding knowledge, use, and attitudes about IUCs.
Results: Of the 210 obstetricians and gynecologists participating in the meeting, the respondents to each question varied from 168 (80.0%) to 205 (97.6%). Almost 50% recognized that the failure rate of combined oral contraceptives, patches, and vaginal rings is 8%–10%. Furthermore, 10% of the participants did not recognize the high contraceptive effectiveness of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods. Additionally, almost 80% of the respondents answered that they did not offer IUCs to nulligravidas and almost 10% did not offer IUCs to adolescents, albeit almost 90% of the respondents reported that nulligravidas are candidates for an LNG-IUS.
Conclusion: Some deficiencies and contradictions in terms of knowledge and attitudes were identified from the answers of the Latin American obstetricians and gynecologists who participated in the survey. The knowledge and attitudes of health care professionals about IUCs are important in order to provide adequate counseling and to expand the use of IUCs.

Keywords: contraception, Latin America, intrauterine contraceptives, health care professionals, knowledge, myths, attitudes

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