Author(s): Syed Khurram Azmat, Babar Tasneem Shaikh, Waqas Hameed, Mohsina Bilgrami, Ghulam Mustafa
Modern Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) is very safe, highly effective reversible and inexpensive family planning method which offers 5-10 years of protection against pregnancy. The contraceptive use in Pakistan has been merely 30% for over a decade with IUCD being the least used method. Higher discontinuation rates are documented in developing countries; however no such data is available for Pakistan. Marie Stopes Society (MSS) established a social franchise outlets network branded as 'SURAJ' (Sun) in Pakistan to provide quality family planning services. This study attempts to determine IUCD discontinuation rates and its associated risk factors. Using a semi-structured questionnaire, a cross-sectional study was conducted with 3000 clients who availed IUCD services from Suraj provider 6, 12 and 24 month back,. Data were analyzed in SPSS 17.0; adjusted prevalence ratios were calculated to see associations between discontinuation and its risk factors.
We found that 22.7% of the IUCD acceptors experienced some health problem; while the overall discontinuation rate was 18.9% with average time of usage of 7.4 (SD ± 5.8) months before discontinuation. Half of them showed health concerns (49.8%); of which a majority (70.2%) returned to Suraj provider for IUCD removal. Women living in Punjab, residing at a travelling time of 30-60 minutes and no previous use of contraceptive are more likely to discontinue IUCD. However, among total women 81.7% still expressed willingness to avail IUCD services from Suraj provider in future, if needed.
The findings suggest a need for training the providers and field workers to prevent early discontinuation of IUCD among the Suraj clients and by addressing the health concerns through proper counseling, continued follow-up and immediate medical aid/referral in case of complications.