The Intrauterine Device Experience Among Transgender and Gender-Diverse Individuals Assigned Female at Birth

Lauren Abern, Chance Krempasky, Daniela Diego, Glendell De Guzman, Kristen Kiely, Jake Cook, Karla Maguire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The intrauterine device (IUD) is a long-acting and highly efficacious form of contraception that can also be used for menstrual suppression. Although IUD use is increasing, the type chosen, appeal, and satisfaction among individuals who are transgender and gender diverse and assigned female at birth (TGD-AFAB) is unknown. The purpose of this study is to evaluate IUD usage among TGD-AFAB individuals. Methods: TGD-AFAB individuals who had an IUD for a minimum of 6 months at the time of completing the survey or had one in the past completed an anonymous online survey. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Results: One hundred and five TGD-AFAB individuals completed the survey. Among participants who were sexually active, 88% reported they were in a relationship in which it was possible to get pregnant. There were 85 individuals who currently had an IUD: 62 (73%) chose a 52-mg levonorgestrel (LNG) IUD, 5 (6%) chose a lower-dose LNG IUD, 17 (20%) chose the copper IUD, and one chose an IUD unavailable in the United States. Menstrual suppression was the primary reason for choosing a 52-mg LNG IUD (58%). Most individuals who opted for a copper IUD did so to avoid hormonal contraception (71%). Participants reported experiencing IUD side effects; however, few desired removal. Among the 36 respondents who had an IUD in the past, the most frequent reasons for removal were expiration of the device (LNG IUDs) and undesired side effects (copper IUD). Approximately half of participants who had an IUD removed had it replaced with another IUD. Discussion: Pregnancy can occur among TGD-AFAB individuals even if they are on testosterone and amenorrheic. IUDs are well tolerated in this population, with few current users desiring removal for unwanted side effects. Clinicians should counsel TGD-AFAB individuals about the contraceptive and noncontraceptive benefits of IUDs and expected side effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • contraception
  • gender diverse
  • genderqueer
  • intrauterine device
  • long-acting reversible contraceptive
  • menstrual manipulation
  • menstrual suppression
  • nonbinary
  • transgender
  • transmasculine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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