Extended use of the intrauterine device: a literature review and recommendations for clinical practice


      There are multiple advantages to “extended use” of the intrauterine device (IUD) use beyond the manufacturer-approved time period, including prolongation of contraceptive and non-contraceptive benefits. We performed a literature review of studies that have reported pregnancy outcomes associated with extended use of IUDs, including copper IUDs and the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS). Among parous women who are at least 25 years old at the time of IUD insertion, there is good evidence to support extended use of the following devices: the TCu380A and the TCu220 for 12 years, the Multiload Cu-375 for 10 years, the frameless GyneFix® (330 mm2) for 9 years, the levonorgestrel intrauterine system 52 mg (Mirena®) for 7 years and the Multiload Cu-250 for 4 years. Women who are at least 35 years old at the time of insertion of a TCu380A IUD can continue use until menopause with a negligible risk of pregnancy. We found no data to support use of the LNG-IUS 13.5 mg (Skyla®) beyond 3 years. When counseling about extended IUD use, clinicians should consider patient characteristics and preferences, as well as country- and community-specific factors. Future research is necessary to determine the risk of pregnancy associated with extended use of the copper IUD and the LNG-IUS among nulliparous women and women less than 25 years old at the time of IUD insertion. More data are needed on the potential effect of overweight and obesity on the long-term efficacy of the LNG-IUS.


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