Not enough New Zealand doctors know how to insert an IUD - study

The researchers interviewed 17 doctors and asked them about the barriers they had experienced.
The researchers interviewed 17 doctors and asked them about the barriers they had experienced. Photo credit: Getty.

A new study has revealed that not enough New Zealand General Practitioners know how to insert an IUD.

The article released by the New Zealand Medical Journal found that not all New Zealand women have access to Long-acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs)  because not enough GPs are trained in inserting or removing them.

The researchers interviewed 17 doctors and asked them about the barriers they had experienced.

The results found there is very little training due to the lack of access funding in primary care for contraception.

New Zealand does not have a scheme for training healthcare practitioners to insert or remove LARCs, said Dr Orna McGinn and fellow researchers.

The article stated New Zealand has one of the highest rates of unplanned pregnancy in the OECD, but a low rate of use of the most effective forms of contraception.

Māori and Pacific women also suffer disproportionately under the barriers due to the cost and lack of access. 

"In order for women to be able to have better access to LARCs, comprehensive training and specific contraception funding should be made available to primary care practitioners," said McGinn.

What is an IUD?

An Intra-Uterine Device also known as an IUD is a T-shaped device which sits inside the uterus to prevent eggs being fertilised. There are two different kinds: copper and hormonal. A copper IUD makes the uterus hostile to sperm and eggs, while a hormonal IUD releases progestogen which thins the uterine lining and thickens the cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg. There are many different brands of IUD available around the world.

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