Placement of levonorgestrel intrauterine device at the time of cesarean delivery and the effect on breastfeeding duration

Erika E. Levi, Molly K. Findley, Karina Avila, Amy G. Bryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: Studies have shown that immediate postpartum initiation of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods leads to increased utilization of LARC and prevention of unintended pregnancies. It is unclear if immediate postpartum levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (LNG-IUD) insertion has an effect on breastfeeding success. Study Design: This study was a secondary analysis of a randomized trial that compared intrauterine device (IUD) use at 6 months postpartum among women who underwent intracesarean IUD placement with women who planned for interval IUD placement at 6 or more weeks postpartum. This parallel, 1:1, nonblinded randomized trial was conducted between March 2012 and June 2014 at the University of North Carolina Women's Hospital. We recruited pregnant women aged 18-45 years who were undergoing a cesarean delivery and desired an IUD for contraception postpartum. Results: We received breastfeeding information from 63 women who desired to use a LNG-IUD. A proportion analysis demonstrated that there was no difference in the proportion of women breastfeeding at any of the three time points, 6, 12, and 24 weeks, following placement. This remained true after adjusting for age, parity, and ethnicity. Conclusion: This study adds to the existing body of evidence that shows that most women are able to successfully breastfeed after immediate postpartum LNG-IUD placement. Women should be encouraged to breastfeed, and the desire to breastfeed should not preclude the initiation of a postplacental IUD. This study provides reassurance that immediate postpartum LNG-IUD placement does not adversely affect breastfeeding; however, more high-quality data are needed on the impact of hormonal IUDs on breastfeeding outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-679
Number of pages6
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • breastfeeding
  • contraception
  • intrauterine devices
  • lactation
  • postpartum period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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