Increasing implant use by offering immediate postpartum insertion

Long acting highly-effective contraception, such as IUDs and implants, can help postpartum women achieve optimal pregnancy spacing and avoid unintended pregnancies. A new study finds that postpartum women are much more likely to use implants if they are inserted immediately following delivery.

Nurse, mother and child postpartum

Photo credit: Jonathan Torgovnik/Reportage by Getty Images

In this randomized controlled trial in Uganda, postpartum women interested in the implant were either offered insertion within five days of delivery (immediate) or six weeks later (delayed). Six months later, 97 percent of women offered immediate insertion were using an implant, whereas only 68 percent of those who delayed insertion were.

Compared with women in the delayed group (63 percent), many more women (81 percent) in the immediate group were satisfied with the timing of their implant placement. Neither group had serious adverse events occur.

Whether postpartum women want to prevent or pursue another pregnancy, highly-effective methods can help women achieve their reproductive goals safely and predictably. Offering those methods immediately following delivery is one clear way to increase their use.