RACGP offers new suite of IUD resources

Morgan Liotta

25/08/2020 11:51:06 AM

It is hoped the resources will encourage the more widespread adoption of IUDs as a contraception method in Australia.

Holding an IUD
The resources are the first of their kind in Australia to provide a systematic checklist for IUD inserters.

The newly released suite consists of five intrauterine device (IUD) resources, including a checklist and patient confirmation form, patient pre- and post-insertion checklist, practitioner checklist and disclaimer.
Current evidence-based options for pain relief during IUD procedures are provided as an appendix.
Dr Amy Moten, Chair of the RACGP Specific Interests Sexual Health Medicine network, led development of the resources, which she says are designed to provide guidance and support to all Australian practitioners.
‘These resources summarise pre-existing guidelines and resources into an easily readable format that can be used as a template for IUD insertion and associated consultations,’ Dr Moten told newsGP.

‘They will support IUD inserters by providing templates for pre- and post-insertion consultations, as well as a formalised consent process.
‘The checklist for insertion provides a list of suggested equipment, as well as advice on evidence-based analgesia.’
Although not intended to replace existing national and international guidelines, the resources are the first of their kind in Australia to provide such a systematic checklist.
‘The resources are to support GPs who are already inserting, particularly if they have recently completed training or working in a practice where they are the only IUD inserter,’ Dr Moten said.
‘It is still recommended all IUD inserters undergo some form of clinical training prior to independent practice.’
GP Dr Meredith Frearson also worked on development of the suite. She told newsGP it outlines all steps required to safe IUD provision – including counselling, device insertion, and required equipment.
‘This includes practical suggestions to improve the procedure for women and ensure a safe and evidence-based approach,’ she said
Information for all staff is also incorporated.
‘[For example,] nursing staff reading [the resources] will be aware of the equipment and their role if assisting with the procedure, while management and reception staff will find it useful to appreciate the steps involved to ensure correct equipment and appointment provision,’ Dr Frearson said.
Dr Frearson is hoping the resources will lead to increased uptake of IUDs as contraception in Australia.
‘There is a need to expand training for IUD insertion, as demand from interested GPs for training is not met in many areas of Australia,’ she said.
‘Multiple studies around the world agree that the provision of longer acting reversible contraceptive methods [LARC] is desirable to reduce unwanted pregnancy rates.
‘The Mirena IUS is also advised as the most effective non-surgical management for heavy menstrual bleeding in our Australian guidelines, a condition affecting one in four menstruating women.’
While there has been a long-term coordinated approach to training all GPs who wish to provide contraceptive implants, Dr Frearson says this has not been the case with IUD insertion training.
‘Older GPs may not be aware of changes over the years – most notably that IUDs are suitable for women of all ages and regardless of whether they have had children or not,’ she said.
‘I hope that non-inserting GPs will find this resource helpful to review their counselling practice and help to encourage the more widespread adoption of IUDs as a method in Australia.’
The full suite of IUD resources is available on the RACGP website.
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