Switching and discontinuation of participant-masked randomization to a copper or levonorgestrel intrauterine device when presenting for emergency contraception



      Examine intrauterine device (IUD) switching or discontinuation up to 6 months after participant-masked randomization to different IUDs.

      Study design

      Participants were randomized 1:1 to the copper T380A or levonorgestrel 52 mg IUD for emergency contraception and informed they could switch IUD type without cost at any time.


      Of the 327 subjects allocated to the levonorgestrel IUD, 7 (2.1%) switched their IUD type by 6 months versus 18 (5.5%) of the 328 copper IUD users (RR: 0.4 [95% CI: 0.2, 0.9], p = 0.03). Six-month IUD discontinuation occurred in 34 (10.4%) levonorgestrel and 35 (10.7%) copper IUD users.


      Individuals randomly assigned to IUD type at presentation for emergency contraception continue their assigned IUDs at high rates over 6 months.


      While many recruited individuals declined enrollment, those who accepted randomization had high continuation rates; the high continuation and low cross-over supports using IUD randomization as a tool for future investigation. Participants’ similar rates of and reasons for switching and discontinuation by IUD type over the study period may impact clinical counseling.


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