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Intrauterine devices should be offered to women wanting emergency contraception

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3308 (Published 09 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3308
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) provide highly effective emergency contraception and should be included in options offered to women who seek help after unprotected intercourse, concludes a systematic review published this week.1

The review found that IUDs had a failure rate of less than one in 1000 and were a more effective form of emergency contraception than the morning-after pill. And IUDs can provide ongoing protection for several years if women choose to have them left in place, making their use very cost effective.

Reviewers analysed 42 studies in which IUDs were used as emergency contraception, where the number of pregnancies was documented and loss to follow-up was clearly defined. IUDs were inserted between two and 10 or more days after …

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