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Levonorgestrel IUD Noninferior for Emergency Contraception

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Key Takeaways

  • The copper IUD is more effective for emergency contraception within 5 days before presentation than the levonorgestrel IUD.
  • Pregnancy rates were 0.3% in the levonorgestrel IUD group and 0% in the copper IUD group in the modified intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses.
  • Overall, 5.2% and 4.9% of those in the levonorgestrel and copper IUD groups, respectively, had adverse events resulting in seeking medical care in the first month after IUD placement.

HealthDay News–For emergency contraception, a levonorgestrel intrauterine device (IUD) is noninferior to a copper IUD, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

David K. Turok, M.D., from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues conducted a randomized, noninferiority trial at 6 clinics in Utah involving women who sought emergency contraception after at least 1 episode of unprotected intercourse within 5 days before presentation. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a levonorgestrel 52-mg or copper T380A IUD in a 1:1 ratio (355 and 356 participants, respectively). One-month outcome data were available for 317 and 321 participants, respectively.

The researchers found that pregnancy rates were 0.3% in the levonorgestrel IUD group and 0% in the copper IUD group in the modified intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses; the results of both analyses were consistent with the noninferiority of levonorgestrel. Overall, 5.2% and 4.9% of those in the levonorgestrel and copper IUD groups, respectively, had adverse events resulting in seeking medical care in the first month after IUD placement.

“The incidence of pregnancy with the use of the levonorgestrel IUD for emergency contraception in this trial (0.3%; 95% confidence interval, 0.01 to 1.7) appears to compare favorably with that reported with oral emergency contraception (1.4% to 2.6%),” the authors write.

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