Efficacy and Safety of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception in Women With Cardiovascular Conditions

Published:November 05, 2015DOI:
      The physiological changes that occur during pregnancy can be deleterious to women with a cardiovascular condition. Evidence-based contraceptive counseling and provision is essential in this patient population. Although long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs), which include the intrauterine device (IUD) and the etonogestrel contraceptive implant, have been found to be safe and effective in healthy women, there are inadequate data regarding LARC use in patients with cardiovascular conditions. We conducted a retrospective chart review of women diagnosed with cardiovascular disease who had a copper IUD, levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system or contraceptive implant placed at the University of Washington Medical Center from 2007 to 2012. We abstracted and analyzed patient demographic characteristics, medical conditions, indications for LARC placement, and complications. The sample included 470 women with cardiovascular conditions. The mean age was 34.6 years. One hundred twenty-four patients (26.11%) were nulligravid and 169 patients (35.58%) were nulliparous. Four hundred ten chose the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (87.23%), 33 patients (7.02%) opted for the copper IUD, and 23 patients (4.89%) chose the etonogestrel implant. Eighteen patients (3.83%) had a confirmed IUD expulsion, 2 patients (0.43%) became pregnant, and there were 4 cases of pelvic inflammatory disease (0.85%). There were no cases of perforation. There were no confirmed cases of infective endocarditis associated with LARC insertion. In conclusion, LARC devices appear safe with few complications for women with cardiovascular conditions. Clinicians can be reassured that LARC may be offered as an appropriate option when counseling women with cardiovascular disease on safe contraceptive methods.
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