Postabortion insertion of intrauterine contraception has the potential to decrease unintended pregnancy and repeat abortions, but little is known about how to ensure that women receive appropriate counseling about this method in this setting. The goal of this investigation was to document women's questions and to assess retention of information provided during contraceptive counseling after immediate postabortion intrauterine contraceptive placement.
Women who received postabortion intrauterine contraceptives (IUCs) at an urban, hospital-based abortion clinic were surveyed 2–3 months postabortion to evaluate for expulsion, assess their concerns about IUC and evaluate retention of information provided during contraceptive counseling.
Of 141 women contacted, 121 participated. Almost half of participants (46%) had responses to the question “Do you have any questions or concerns about your intrauterine device?” that fell into the following categories: spotting/bleeding (16%), cramping/pain (15%), string management (10%), expulsion concern (5%). Seventy percent reported less bleeding during menses than prior to IUC placement, and 37% had less cramping. Sixty-three percent were able to accurately report statistics regarding IUC efficacy, 56% recalled common side effects, and 42% remembered what to do if expulsion occurred.
Although IUCs are highly effective and their placement in the abortion setting is safe, women frequently have questions and do not recall critical counseling information about IUCs. In order to improve IUC continuation, techniques to improve both patient knowledge retention and anticipatory guidance should be studied further.
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Published online: December 26, 2012
Accepted: November 19, 2012
Received in revised form: November 19, 2012
Received: June 13, 2012
© 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.