The IUD is the most popular long-acting contraceptive amongst Europeans

October 28, 2009
The IUD is the most popular long-acting contraceptive amongst Europeans. Credit: SINC

A European study has defined the profile for the usage of long-acting contraceptive methods. The work, presented with the National Congress of Gynaecology award, shows, amongst other things, that 10% of women use these methods, the majority over 30 years old.

"Long-acting contraceptives (the IUD, contraceptive injection or contraceptive implant) are still not widely used", Sergio Haimovich, researcher at the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona and author of the study published in the European Journal Of Contraception And Reproductive Health Care, explains to SINC.

After the male condom, the pill is the most popular contraceptive method amongst European women, while intrauterine contraception (copper IUD or hormone-releasing IUS) is most popular as a long-term solution. Of the more than 11,000 women surveyed in 14 European countries, longer-lasting methods were used by 1,088 women, 10% of the sample.

The Spanish research, part of a broader study on the general contraceptive profile of European women, evaluates the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives. According to Haimovich, "those using them are over the age of 30 who do not want more children and who are looking for a long-term solution". Younger girls use different methods, according to the expert.

The reasons why certain are chosen, and how, are unknown. But why is there a scientific interest in the user profile? "The answers to these questions can help us to formulate contraceptive advice that is better adapted to the needs of the users", explains Haimovich.

The condom triumphs in Spain

The data consider the specific needs of each country. Spain is one of the European countries where the condom is used most, by all ages. However, according to the study hormonal methods, such as the pill or the ring, are increasingly being used.

The results of this research, awarded best work at the National Congress of Gynaecology on 25 September this year, "help to explain what users want and enable a more appropriate contraceptive check to be created", affirms Haimovich. "That is why we must always adapt our discourse to the demands of the users, and work such as this makes us aware of these requirements", the scientist points out.

More information: Sergio Haimovich. "Profile of long-acting reversible contraception users in Europe". European Journal Of And Reproductive Health Care, 2009.

Source: FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

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