Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Continuation Rates of Copper and Levonorgestrel IUDs

Am J Obstet Gynecol; ePub 2017 Mar 15; Phillips, et al

Continuation rates among women who underwent intrauterine device (IUD) insertion were higher at 4 years for levonorgestrel intrauterine device (LNG-IUD) users compared with copper intrauterine device (Cu-IUD) users, but not at 5 years, a recent study found. Cu-IUD users were also more likely to experience expulsion and pregnancy. This cohort study of 1,164 women assessed continuation rates and performance of LNG-IUDs compared with Cu-IUDs over a 5-year period. Researchers found:

  • At 2 years, 64.9% of LNG-IUD users continued their device compared with 57.7% of Cu-IUD users.
  • At 4 years, 45.1% of LNG-IUD users continued device use compared to 32.6% for Cu-IUD users.
  • At 5 years, continuation rates were 28.1% for LNG-IUD and 23.8% for Cu-IUD.
  • Black race, primiparity, and age were positively associated discontinuation.


Phillips SJ, Hofler LG, Modest AM, Harvey LFB, Wu LH, Hacker MR. Continuation of copper and levonorgestrel intrauterine devices: A retrospective cohort study. [Published online ahead of print March 15, 2017]. Am J Obstet Gynecol. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2017.03.005.