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Intrauterine contraception: why are so few Australian women using this effective method?

Deborah Bateson, Caroline Harvey, Julia Williams and Kirsten I Black
Med J Aust 2011; 194 (6): 324.

To the Editor: The recent article by Lewis and colleagues highlights the important role of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) in reducing unintended pregnancy in Australian teenagers.1 LARCs are defined as contraceptives that are administered less than monthly and include hormonal implants and injections, and intrauterine devices (IUDs).2 The critical importance of improving access to LARC methods has been recognised in the United Kingdom by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence, which produced guidelines for implementing this policy in 2005.2 The United States has recently followed this lead. In 2009, expanding access to intrauterine devices and other LARCs, particularly for younger women, was declared a national public health priority by the US Institute of Medicine.3

  • Deborah Bateson1
  • Caroline Harvey2
  • Julia Williams3
  • Kirsten I Black3

  • 1 Family Planning New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Family Planning Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 3 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

Family Planning NSW and Family Planning Queensland have received support from Bayer Schering Pharma to develop an IUD-insertion training program.

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