The effect of patient gynecologic history on clinician contraceptive counseling

Christine Dehlendorf, Rachel Ruskin, Philip Darney, Eric Vittinghoff, Kevin Grumbach, Jody Steinauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Contraceptive providers have an important influence on women's selection of contraception. Previous studies suggest that clinicians inappropriately limit use of intrauterine contraception (IUC). This study investigated the influence of patients' gynecologic histories on recommendations for IUC and other methods of contraception. Study Design: Videos of standardized patients varying by history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and parity were shown to clinicians at meetings of national medical societies. Participants indicated their contraceptive recommendations for the patient and whether they would have concerns were the patient to use IUC. Results: Five hundred twenty-four providers viewed one video of a standardized patient and completed the survey. Gynecologic history was significantly associated with recommendations for the contraceptive ring, contraceptive patch, and copper IUC. Many clinicians indicated that they had concerns about the use of IUC with respect to risks such as PID, infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Concerns about infertility and pain with use of IUC were related to gynecologic history. Conclusions: Patient gynecologic characteristics affect recommendations for some reversible contraceptive methods. Clinicians continue to have concerns about IUC use despite evidence supporting its safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical recommendations
  • Contraception, Intrauterine contraception
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Standardized patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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