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Keywords:

  • adolescent;
  • levonorgestrel;
  • LNG-IUD;
  • Mirena;
  • New Zealand

Background: The levonorgestrel intrauterine device (LNG-IUD) is an established treatment for adult women. Although it is being used in adolescents, there is little published research in this age group to date. Recent reviews and editorials have challenged the long-held views that intrauterine devices should not be used in young women.

Aims: This study aimed to identify the patterns of use, including indications and contraindications of the LNG-IUD in adolescents by RANZCOG Fellows practising in New Zealand.

Methods: A postal survey of New Zealand RANZCOG Fellows on their use of the LNG-IUD in females aged 10–19 years.

Results: There was a 72% response rate. Half of the respondents had inserted the LNG-IUD in adolescents. Non-inserters identified a significantly greater number of contraindications than inserters (χ2, P < 0.0001). Over half of those respondents who had inserted a device in an adolescent did so fewer than three times per year. Intellectual disability and endometriosis, both unlicensed indications, were the two most commonly identified circumstances for insertion by respondents.

Conclusions: Patterns of insertion of the LNG-IUD in adolescents by RANZCOG Fellows in New Zealand differ and there was equipoise over its use. Further research is required to establish the efficacy, safety and acceptability of the LNG-IUD in adolescents.