A Meta-Analysis of Postpartum Copper IUD Continuation Rates in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Author(s): Angela Marchin, Angela Moss, Margo Harrison

Background: Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) initiated immediately postpartum can reduce unintended or mistimed pregnancies, and contribute to proper pregnancy spacing. Data on use and continuation of postpartum LARC in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is limited.

Methods: We searched PubMed, OVID, Embase, Google Scholar, Cochrane, POPLINE, Global Health (CABI), and LILACS databases for relevant terms. Studies of any design, published in English, were screened for relevance based on six-month continuation rates of postpartum LARC, location of study, and LARC insertion within 48 hours after vaginal or cesarean birth. We found no relevant studies of implant or hormonal intrauterine device (IUD). Therefore, analysis was limited to studies of the copper IUD only. Two authors used the Cochrane Public Health Group Data Extraction and Assessment Template to guide data extraction to estimate pooled six-month continuation rates, and the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool for Randomized Controlled Trials and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies to rate the quality of the studies. A random-effects meta-analysis of proportions was performed.

Results: Immediate-postpartum copper IUDs have a six-month continuation rate of 87% (95% CI 80-92%) in LMIC. The pooled estimated rates of six-month adverse outcomes were 6% (95% CI 5-9%) for expulsion, 5% (95% CI 4-7%) for removal, and 0.2% (95% CI 0.0-0.9%) for infection.

Conclusions: High six-month continuation rates and a low rate of adverse outcomes suggest immediate postpartum copper IUD insertion is a feasible and acceptable postpartum contraceptive option for women living in LMIC.

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