Objective The objective of this analysis was to estimate the 3-year continuation rates of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods and to compare these rates to non-LARC methods. Study Design The Contraceptive CHOICE Project (CHOICE) was a prospective cohort study that followed 9256 participants with telephone surveys at 3 and 6 months, then every 6 months for 2-3 years. We estimated 3-year continuation rates of baseline methods that were chosen at enrollment. The LARC methods include the 52-mg levonorgestrel intrauterine device; the copper intrauterine device, and the subdermal implant). These were then compared to rates to non-LARC hormonal methods (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, oral contraceptive pills, contraceptive patch, and vaginal ring). Eligibility criteria for this analysis included participants who started their baseline chosen method by the 3-month survey. Participants who discontinued their method to attempt conception were censored. We used a Cox proportional hazard model to adjust for confounding and to estimate the hazard ratio for risk of discontinuation. Results Our analytic sample consisted of 4708 CHOICE participants who met inclusion criteria. Three-year continuation rates were 69.8% for users of the levonorgestrel intrauterine device, 69.7% for copper intrauterine device users, and 56.2% for implant users. At 3 years, continuation was 67.2% among LARC users and 31.0% among non-LARC users (P <.001). After adjustment for age, race, education, socioeconomic status, parity, and history of sexually transmitted infection, the hazard ratio for risk of discontinuation was 3-fold higher among non-LARC method users than LARC users (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.08; 95% confidence interval, 2.80-3.39). Conclusion Three-year continuation of the 2 intrauterine devices approached 70%. Continuation of LARC methods was significantly higher than non-LARC methods.
- intrauterine device
- long-acting reversible contraception
- subdermal implant