Reasons for Intent to Discontinue and Remove Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives: National Survey of Family Growth 2017-2019

Suprena Poleon, Erika L. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Long-Acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are highly effective forms of contraception, which can reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy. Despite LARC effectiveness, women may desire to discontinue this method. This study will examine reasons for intent to discontinue and remove LARCs among U.S. women 15-49 years of age from 2017 to 2019. Methods: The National Survey of Family Growth 2017-2019 was utilized with a sample of 6141 female respondents. Descriptive statistics for intention to discontinue LARCs, difficulty removing LARCs, and reasons for LARC discontinuation and removal were examined. Rao-Scott chi-square tests were conducted in SAS. Results: Overall, 22.9% of women reported ever using LARCs. Among LARC users, most women (81.2%) reported using LARC in the past 10 years. Among these women, 63.9% intended to discontinue LARCs, and 11.5% had difficulty removing LARCs. Reasons for wanting to discontinue LARCs include side effects (29.6%), LARC expiration (26.8%), LARC complications (19.3%), and decided to get pregnant (15.9%). Primary reasons reported for difficulty removing LARCs included: complications (68.3%), other reasons (13.4%), discouragement by provider (5.8%), and provider's inability to remove (4.9%). Conclusions: Given that women who use a LARC method rely on providers to remove this contraceptive method, understanding the reasons for discontinuation and difficulties encountered is needed. Findings from this nationally representative sample identified provider-level and system-level barriers for LARC removal. To respect the reproductive autonomy of LARC users' method for pregnancy prevention, these barriers must be overcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-740
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2022


  • LARC
  • LARC discontinuation
  • LARC removal
  • LARC removal difficulty
  • LARC removal intention
  • reproductive autonomy


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