Acceptability of immediate postpartum and post-abortion long-acting reversible contraception provision to adolescents: A systematic review

Pip Buckingham, Jessica E. Moulton, Asvini K. Subasinghe, Natalie Amos, Danielle Mazza

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods are safe for adolescents and provide the greatest assurance against rapid repeated pregnancy when inserted during the immediate postpartum (IPP) and immediate post-abortion (IPA) period. Despite increasing enthusiasm for IPP/IPA LARC insertion, adolescents’ preferences and experiences have seldom been examined. The objective of this review was to examine the attitudes of adolescents (aged 10–19 years) towards IPP/IPA LARC, their experiences and perceptions around having an LARC device fitted IPP/IPA and the factors involved in decision-making to use, not use or discontinue IPP/IPA LARC. Material and methods: In January 2021, we searched seven bibliographic databases for original research articles published in English, from the year 2000. Studies of any design focused on IPP/IPA LARC were eligible for inclusion. Three of the authors assessed articles for eligibility and extracted data relevant to the outcomes of the review. Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Tools were used to assess methodological quality. Key themes emerging from the data were synthesized and reported narratively. Results: We identified 10 relevant articles, four of which were entirely adolescent-focused. Only three addressed IPA LARC. IPP availability was important for ensuring access to LARC postpartum. Attitudes towards LARC IPP were associated with adolescents’ sociodemographic characteristics and positive perceptions related to the long duration of action. Determinants of discontinuation and nonuse included poor-quality contraceptive counseling, intolerable side effects and subsequent distress, misconceptions about LARC safety IPP and the influence of partners and community on autonomy. No factors involved in IPA LARC decision-making were available. Limited evidence demonstrated that adolescents may favor contraceptive implants over intrauterine devices, and in certain contexts may face greater barriers to IPA LARC access than adult women do. Conclusions: Immediate insertion of LARC postpartum appears acceptable to adolescents who do not experience side effects and those with the opportunity to make autonomous contraception decisions. This important topic has been addressed in few studies involving an entirely adolescent population. Very limited evidence is available on IPA LARC. Further research on adolescents’ lived experiences of IPP/IPA LARC access and use is necessary to inform the provision of person-centered care when assisting adolescents’ contraceptive choice following pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-640
Number of pages12
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • adolescent
  • contraceptive implant
  • immediate postpartum
  • intrauterine devices
  • long-acting reversible contraception
  • pregnancy in adolescence

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