The anticipated increase in IUS fittings is slower than predicted by the NICE. There is evidence to suggest that this is because of the high perceived cost of providing this contraceptive method. Whereas studies to date have all guessed at these costs, The researchers calculated the actual costs of delivering the IUS.

The researchers tracked the notes of 283 women who had an IUS fitted in our community sexual and reproductive health service for five years.

With 70% complete follow-up, the IUS’s average duration was 3.44 years compared to NICE’s prediction of 3.32. The average annual cost of providing an IUS for contraception in community clinics was £54.55 per woman; this compares with £70.49 modeled by NICE to provide primary care. Most of the cost is incurred in the first year. The price of managing problems is small.

The study concluded that providing the IUS for contraception was 23% cheaper in the present study than that predicted by NICE and less expensive than delivering combined oral contraception in our service. Fitting IUSs in community clinics may be less costly than in primary care.