News: ACOG 2008 Meeting Highlights: Should IUDs be offered to STD-prone patients?

June 1, 2008

IUDs are usually not recommended for women at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases.

Traditionally, intrauterine devices have not been recommended for women at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases for fear that the devices make them more susceptible to upper genital tract infections. But a retrospective chart analysis of more than 300 women flies in the face of this conventional wisdom.

When researchers presenting at ACOG's 56th Annual Clinical Meeting in New Orleans studied the records of women attending an inner city teaching hospital clinic, 194 of whom were using an IUD and 191 on depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), they found those on Depo Provera were significantly more likely to have subsequent STDs or other gynecologic infections. On the other hand, women on the IUDs were more likely to report adverse effects-but less inclined to stop using the device, when compared to the women on DMPA (18.8% vs. 67%, P<.001).

Cropsey KL. Long-term, reversible contraception for high-risk women. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;111(April Suppl):9S.