Immediate versus delayed postpartum insertion of contraceptive implant and IUD for contraception

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Abstract

Background: Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), including intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants, are highly effective, reversible methods of contraception. Providing LARC methods during the postpartum period is important to support contraceptive choice, and to prevent unintended pregnancy and short interpregnancy intervals. Delaying offering contraception to postpartum people until the first comprehensive postpartum visit, traditionally at around six weeks postpartum, may put some postpartum people at risk of unintended pregnancy, either due to loss to follow-up or because of initiation of sexual intercourse prior to receiving contraception. Therefore, immediate provision of highly effective contraception, prior to discharge from hospital, has the potential to improve contraceptive use and prevent unintended pregnancies and short interpregnancy intervals. Objectives: To compare the initiation rate, utilization rates (at six months and 12 months after delivery), effectiveness, and adverse effects of immediate versus delayed postpartum insertion of implants and IUDs for contraception. Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, Embase, and POPLINE for eligible studies up to December 2020. We examined review articles and contacted investigators. We checked registers of ongoing clinical trials, citation lists of included studies, key textbooks, grey literature, and previous systematic reviews for potentially relevant studies. Selection criteria: We sought randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared immediate postpartum versus delayed insertion of contraceptive implant and IUDs for contraception. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors (JS, SK) independently screened titles and abstracts of the search results, and assessed the full-text articles of potentially relevant studies for inclusion. They extracted data from the included studies, assessed risk of bias, compared results, and resolved disagreements by consulting a third review author (PL, SA or PP). We contacted investigators for additional data, where possible. We computed the Mantel-Haenszel or inverse variance risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) for binary outcomes and the mean difference (MD) with 95% CI for continuous variables. Main results: In this updated review, 16 studies met the inclusion criteria; five were studies of contraceptive implants (715 participants) and 11 were studies of IUDs (1894 participants). We identified 12 ongoing studies. We applied GRADE judgements to our results; the overall certainty of the evidence for each outcome ranged from moderate to very low, with the main limitations being risk of bias, inconsistency, and imprecision. Contraceptive implants. Immediate insertion probably improves the initiation rate for contraceptive implants compared with delayed insertion (RR 1.48, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.98; 5 studies, 715 participants; I2 = 95%; moderate-certainty evidence). We are uncertain if there was a difference between the two groups for the utilization rate of contraceptive implants at six months after delivery (RR 1.16, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.50; 3 studies, 330 participants; I2 = 89%; very low-certainty evidence) or at 12 months after insertion (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.04; 2 studies, 164 participants; I2 = 0%; very low-certainty evidence). People who received an immediate postpartum contraceptive implant insertion may have had a higher mean number of days of prolonged vaginal bleeding within six weeks postpartum (mean difference (MD) 2.98 days, 95% CI -2.71 to 8.66; 2 studies, 420 participants; I2 = 91%; low-certainty evidence) and a higher rate of other adverse effects in the first six weeks after birth (RR 2.06, 95% CI 1.38 to 3.06; 1 study, 215 participants; low-certainty evidence) than those who received a delayed postpartum insertion. We are uncertain if there was a difference between the two groups for prolonged bleeding at six months after delivery (RR 1.19, 95% CI 0.29 to 4.94; 2 studies, 252 participants; I2 = 0%; very low-certainty evidence). There may be little or no difference between the two groups for rates of unintended pregnancy at six months (RR 0.20, 95% CI 0.01 to 4.08; one study, 205 participants; low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain whether there was a difference in rates of unintended pregnancy at 12 months postpartum (RR 1.82, 95% CI 0.38 to 8.71; 1 study, 64 participants; very low-certainty evidence). There may be little or no difference between the two groups for any breastfeeding rates at six months (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.01; 2 studies, 225 participants; I2 = 48%; low-certainty evidence). IUDs. Immediate insertion of IUDs probably improves the initiation rate compared with delayed insertion, regardless of type of IUD (RR 1.27, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.51; 10 studies, 1894 participants; I2 = 98%; moderate-certainty evidence). However, people who received an immediate postpartum IUD insertion may have had a higher expulsion rate at six months after delivery (RR 4.55, 95% CI 2.52 to 8.19; 8 studies, 1206 participants; I2 = 31%; low-certainty evidence) than those who received a delayed postpartum insertion. We are uncertain if there was a difference between the two groups in the utilization of IUDs at six months after insertion (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.65 to 1.62; 6 studies, 971 participants; I2 = 96%; very low-certainty evidence) or at 12 months after insertion (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.47; 3 studies, 796 participants; I2 = 92%; very low-certainty evidence). Immediate IUDs insertion may reduce unintended pregnancy at 12 months (RR 0.26, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.41; 1 study, 1000 participants; low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain whether there was difference in any breastfeeding rates at six months in people receiving progestin-releasing IUDs (RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.30; 5 studies, 435 participants; I2 = 54%; very low-certainty evidence). Authors' conclusions: Evidence from this updated review indicates that immediate postpartum insertion improves the initiation rate of both contraceptive implants and IUDs by the first postpartum visit compared to delayed insertion. However, it is not clear whether that there are differences in utilization rates at six and 12 months postpartum. We are uncertain whether there is any difference in the unintended pregnancy rate at 12 months. Provision of progestin-releasing implants and IUDs immediately postpartum may have little or no negative impact on breastfeeding. However, the expulsion rate of IUDs and prolonged vaginal bleeding associated with immediate implants appears to be higher.

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APA

Sothornwit, J., Kaewrudee, S., Lumbiganon, P., Pattanittum, P., & Averbach, S. H. (2022). Immediate versus delayed postpartum insertion of contraceptive implant and IUD for contraception. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2022(10). https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011913.pub3

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