Document Type



Community Health Sciences


Background: Long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as the intrauterine device (IUD), remain underutilised in Pakistan with high discontinuation rates. Based on a 24-month prospective client follow-up (nested within a larger quasi-experimental study), this paper presents the comparison of two intervention models, one using private mid-level providers branded as "Suraj" and the other using community midwives (CMWs) of Maternal Newborn and Child Health Programme, for method continuation among IUD users. Moreover, determinants of IUD continuation and the reasons for discontinuation, and switching behaviour were studied within each arm.
Methods: A total of 1,163 IUD users, 824 from Suraj and 339 from the CMW model, were enrolled in this 24-month prospective client follow-up. Participants were followed-up by female community mobilisers physically every second month to ascertain continued IUD usage and to collect information on associated factors, switching behaviour, reasons for discontinuation, and pregnancy occurrence. The probabilities of IUD continuation and the risk factors for discontinuation were estimated by life table analysis and Cox proportional-hazard techniques, respectively.
Results: The cumulative probabilities of IUD continuation at 24 months in Suraj and CMW models were 82% and 80%, respectively. The difference between the two intervention areas was not significant. The probability distributions of IUD continuation were also similar in both interventions (Log rank test: χ(2) = 0.06, df = 1, P = 0.81; Breslow test: χ(2) = 0.6, df = 1, P = 0.44). Health concerns (Suraj = 57.1%, CMW = 38.7%) and pregnancy desire (Suraj = 29.3%, CMW = 40.3%) were reported as the most prominent reasons for IUD discontinuation in both intervention arms. IUD discontinuation was significantly associated with place of residence in Suraj and with age (15-25 years) in the CMW model.
Conclusion: CMWs and private providers are equally capable of providing quality IUD services and ensuring higher method continuation. Pakistan's National Maternal Newborn and Child Health programme should consider training CMWs and providing IUDs through them. Moreover, private sector mid-level providers could be engaged in promoting the use of IUDs.


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Health Research Policy and Systems

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.