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This is the authors' accepted manuscript from the Journal of Adolescent Health, 2021 Feb;68(2):357-363.

The final published version can be found on the journal's website:


PURPOSE: Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are highly effective at preventing pregnancy. Levonorgestrel (LNG) IUDs also have beneficial effects on menstrual bleeding and abdominal and pelvic pain. Although there are increasing data on use of IUDs for contraception in adolescents and for medical indications in adults, there are extremely limited data on LNG IUD use for medical indications in adolescents. Our objective is to describe the characteristics and experiences of LNG IUD use in nulliparous adolescents and young women using IUDs for medical indications.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all nulliparous patients aged 22 years and younger who underwent LNG IUD insertion at a tertiary care children's hospital between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2014 primarily for noncontraceptive indications. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed.

RESULTS: We identified 231 LNG IUDs placed in 219 nulliparous women for medical indications during this time period. Mean patient age was 16.8 years (±2.2). Only 41% reported ever being sexually active. IUD continuation rate at 1 year was 86%. The amenorrhea rate at 1 year was 51%. Approximately 80% of women reported improvements in menstrual bleeding and abdominal and pelvic pain. Side effects and complications were low.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that LNG IUDs are effective, well-tolerated, and safe menstrual management options in young nulliparous women, including younger adolescents and those who have never been sexually active. This method is an excellent first-line therapy option for adolescents and young women for both contraceptive and noncontraceptive indications, regardless of age, parity, or sexual activity.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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