Closing the Gap between Clinical Practice & Evidence

Providers commonly have out-dated information about the safety of the intrauterine device, and are frequently unaware that IUDs and implants are safe for a majority of patients (regardless of age). This, in combination with lack of training on insertion and removal, prevents a significant number of providers from including these methods in their contraceptive offerings.

National guidelines recommend that providers offer the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods, including IUDs and implants, as part of client-centered contraceptive care. IUDs and implants are more effective in preventing unintended pregnancies than contraceptive pills, patch, or ring and have high satisfaction and continuation rates for both adolescents and adults; however, patients often lack information about these methods and their safety and relative effectiveness. Because they are safe for most women (including adolescents), IUDs and implants should be included in most contraceptive counseling sessions and placement and removal offered the same day.

Our training addresses this gap between clinical practice and the evidence on IUDs and implants. Health care providers receive updated information on the latest science and professional recommendations and have time to practice counseling and clinical skills. The importance of counseling patients about IUDs and implants as part of routine contraceptive care is emphasized. Tested in a national randomized trial, the training has been shown to reduce unintended pregnancy by half among young women through improvements in counseling and access to the full range of contraceptive methods.