IUD knowledge and experience among family medicine residents

Finn D. Schubert, Cara Herbitter, Jason Fletcher, Marji Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The intrauterine device (IUD) is a highly effective contraceptive method with few contraindications; however, clinician lack of training in insertion and misconceptions about IUD risks are barriers to utilization. Previous research has shown gaps in IUD training in family medicine residency programs. METHODS: An online survey addressing experience with IUD insertion, knowledge of patient eligibility and IUD risks, and intent to insert IUDs in practice was circulated to residents at 15 US family medicine residency programs. Programs were eligible to participate if they were receiving funding to enhance training in family planning and abortion care and interested in additional support to enhance IUD training. RESULTS: The overall response rate for the surveys was 76.1% (332/436). Experience with the levonorgestrel intrauterine system was more common than with the copper IUD. Residents performed well on knowledge questions, but many would not insert in common patient scenarios in which insertion was not contraindicated, including a history of sexually transmitted infection in the past 6 months (48.2% would not insert), a history of ectopic pregnancy (37.0%), no pap smear in the past year (30.7%), or if the patient was not in a monogamous relationship (29.2%). The vast majority of residents (88.7%) reported that they were likely or very likely to provide IUDs in their future family medicine practice. CONCLUSIONS: Although residents overwhelmingly expressed interest in providing IUDs after residency, our results suggest that additional clinical and didactic training is needed, particularly interventions targeted at dispelling misconceptions about patient eligibility for IUDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-477
Number of pages4
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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