Frequency of 6-week follow-up appointment scheduling after intrauterine device insertion

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Abstract

Introduction

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is widely recommended to reduce unintended pregnancy in the USA. As intrauterine device (IUD) use increases, evaluating the role of post-insertion follow-up is important.

Methods

A retrospective patient record review was conducted to assess the follow-up experience of women who had an IUD placed at the University of Kansas Medical Center from 1 January to 30 June 2015. Data were collected on patient demographics, IUD placement, follow-up visit attendance, and outcomes in the 12 months following placement. The primary outcome of interest was the proportion of patients who attended a 6-week follow-up visit. Secondary outcomes included adverse events detected at the 6-week visit and IUD removal within a year of placement.

Results

Among 380 women who had an IUD inserted, physician documentation of a recommended 6-week follow-up visit was present in 91.3% of patient medical records. Two-thirds (66.6%) of patients receiving a recommendation returned for a follow-up visit. Of the 380 women who had an IUD placed, 66 (17.4%) had their IUD removed within 1 year of placement. Of those, 50 women attended the 6-week follow-up visit and 16 did not (19.8% vs 12.6%, p=0.08). Of the IUD removals, 14 occurred at the 6-week visit. After excluding IUD removals which occurred at the 6-week visit, attending a 6-week follow-up visit was not associated with IUD removal or retention (p=0.52).

Conclusion

Despite recommendations to forgo the 6-week follow-up visit, visits were still common, with no demonstrated value added.

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