Barriers and Misperceptions Limiting Widespread Use of Intrauterine Contraception Among Canadian Women
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Unintended pregnancy is a major social and public health problem with adverse effects on neonatal and developmental outcomes, as well as maternal health and wellbeing. Traditionally, family planning policies have focused on increasing contraceptive uptake in non-users; however, rates of non-use are low in many developed nations. A high proportion of unintended pregnancies are attributable to contraceptive failure, particularly when using barrier and short-acting hormonal contraceptives. Intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs) are highly effective and have been shown to reduce unintended pregnancy rates. Despite this, global utilization rates are low, and IUCD uptake in Canada has been particularly low. In this review we explore why IUCDs are not more widely used, and specifically focus on barriers and misperceptions that may influence IUCD uptake, particularly in Canada. We reviewed relevant articles published in English between 1990 and 2014, through searches of PubMed and Medline, including primary studies of any design containing information on the knowledge and attitudes of health care providers and women. Providing education to care providers, women, and policy makers may help overcome misperceptions about the use of IUCDs, and may facilitate greater use. Increased support from federal and provincial health programs may also encourage the use of IUCDs in Canadian women, and help to reduce unintended pregnancy rates.
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