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Highlighting efforts to expand global access to hormonal IUD at the Sixth International Symposium on

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

Written by Katie Williams, Fellow, FHI 360 & UNC Gillings School of Public Health

Photo credit: International Symposium on IUDs

The International Symposium on IUDs presents an opportunity to share and discuss relevant research on IUD technologies – including copper IUDs and the hormonal IUD. This year’s symposium is the sixth in this series of international conferences, the first of which occurred in 1962. The intended objectives of the 2021 conference are to share up-to-date clinical and scientific research on a variety of IUD topics, such as new and emerging IUD products in development and the successes and challenges surrounding ensuring access to IUD technologies.

The January event in this year’s series, “Programs Increasing Access to IUDs and IUSs in the USA and in LMICs” included a panel on efforts to expand access to the hormonal IUD is low- and middle-income countries (LIMCs)(start time 1:00:52). During this panel, experts from FHI 360, USAID, the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (formerly DFID), the Population Council, and Jhpiego/Kenya reflected on past and present efforts and strategies to address supply- and demand-side barriers that have hampered availability of the hormonal IUD in LMICs.

The session begins with an overview of existing hormonal IUD products, key milestones in the process of increasing access to the hormonal IUD in FP2020 countries, and an overview of the development of the hormonal IUD global learning agenda. Panelists then introduced and shared updates from the Hormonal IUD Access Group, a new coordination framework that was formalized in 2020. The panel also included an overview of the International Contraceptive Access (ICA) Foundation’s work, as well as lessons learned from Jhpiego/Kenya’s efforts to introduce the method in sites supported by the Afya Halisi project in Kenya.

The recording and a Question & Answer from the event can be accessed here.

The virtual events for this year’s symposium are ongoing.

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