Long-Acting Reversible Contraception Initiation With a 2- to 3-Week Compared With a 6-Week Postpartum Visit

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate whether a department policy changing the scheduling of the postpartum visit from 6 weeks to 2–3 weeks after delivery is associated with higher long-acting reversible contraception initiation at the postpartum visit.

METHODS:

We conducted a quasiexperimental before–after study to evaluate long-acting reversible contraception initiation, specifically an intrauterine device or contraceptive implant, at the postpartum visit between women scheduled for follow-up at 6 weeks (before policy change) and 2–3 weeks after delivery (after policy change). Secondary outcomes included postpartum visit completion, overall contraception initiation at the postpartum visit, overall contraceptive use at 6 months after delivery, and repeat pregnancies by 6 months postpartum. We obtained delivery and postpartum information using the electronic medical record and contacted participants 3 and 6 months after delivery to assess contraception use and repeat pregnancies.

RESULTS:

We enrolled 586 participants between December 2014 and November 2015, of whom 512 women (256 in each cohort) continued to meet eligibility criteria after delivery. Long-acting reversible contraception initiation rates at the postpartum visit were lower in the 2- to 3-week (16.5%, 95% CI 12.2–21.8) compared with the 6-week group (31.1%, 95% CI 25.2–37.7, P<.01), primarily as a result of patient and health care provider preferences for delaying intrauterine device insertion to a later visit. More women completed a scheduled 2- to 3-week postpartum visit (90.2%, 95% CI 86.0–93.3) compared with a 6-week visit (81.6%, 95% CI 76.4–85.9, P<.01). Deferral of any contraception initiation was higher in the 2- to 3-week group (27.3%, 95% CI 21.9–33.4) compared with the 6-week group (15.8%, 95% CI 11.5–21.4, P<.01), but there were no differences in overall contraceptive use patterns at 6 months postpartum. No intrauterine device perforations or expulsions were observed in women who underwent insertion at 2–3 weeks postpartum. Five pregnancies were reported in each cohort by 6 months after delivery.

CONCLUSION:

Scheduling a visit at 2–3 weeks after delivery was not associated with increased long-acting reversible contraception initiation at this visit despite higher postpartum visit attendance.

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