Study finds benefits of device for inserting IUDs shortly after birth -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine


Pregna International Ltd.

Study finds benefits of device for inserting IUDs shortly after birth

A Stanford researcher helped devise a simple IUD inserter for use in developing countries to help women seeking contraceptive options after delivery.

A simple tool designed for inserting an intrauterine device may offer women in the developing world a convenient, low-cost option for long-term contraception.

Practitioners can easily and effectively use the device in low-resource settings to place an IUD in women just after they’ve given birth, according to a pilot study led by a Stanford University School of Medicine researcher.

Paul Blumenthal, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, collaborated with colleagues at Population Services International to invent the device, the first of its kind. It consists of a long tube of silicone and plastic, preloaded with an IUD, that can be inserted into the top portion of the uterus, where it may provide contraceptive protection for as long as 10 years. 

“It’s simple, it works and it’s cheap,” Blumenthal said. “This is something that could really enhance the providers’ willingness and the patients’ acceptability of this approach.”

He and his colleagues at PSI-India tested the inserter device in 80 women in India, who said placement of the IUD caused them little or no additional pain compared with the birth of their child.

He said an Indian company, Pregna International, which refined and manufactured the device for the pilot study, is keen to bring it to market.

The work was funded by an innovation grant called The Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the government of Canada) and the UK’s Department for International Development. 

Stanford’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and PSI also supported the work.

Ruthann Richter is the director of media relations for the medical school's Office of Communication & Public Affairs.

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