Researchers conducted this study to investigate knowledge and attitudes towards intra-uterine contraception.

The research design was an anonymous postal survey of 441 GPs from the FHSA register in Stockport and Manchester.

The study setting was general practices in Stockport and Manchester.

The primary outcome measure was response to a series of questions concerning attitudes and knowledge of intrauterine contraception.

One hundred and forty-two responses were received, giving a 35% response rate. Thirty-four percent of responding GPs did not fit intra-uterine devices (IUDs), with only 10% providing more than 30 a year. There was a significant trend against IUD fitting by male GPs and GPs aged <40 years. Younger GPs with <10 years experience were significantly more aware of intrauterine contraception’s reliability but perceived IUD fitting as inconvenient for both the patient and the doctor. Female GPs had better knowledge and more positive attitudes to IUDs than male GPs.

The study concluded that GPs might have difficulties in maintaining expertise. Primary care groups may opt to concentrate fittings in a few expert practices or refer women to centrally based family planning clinics for IUD fitting.