Research: More Kiwis using long-acting contraception

There has been a “significant increase” in the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives since 2009 in New Zealand, according to new research. 

Copper intrauterine device. Source:

A study by Otago University, Family Planning New Zealand and Te Whāriki Takapou published yesterday in the New Zealand Medical Journal found an overall increase of 17 per cent from 2009 to 2019. This increase was matched by a significant decrease in short-acting contraceptives like the pill. 

The long-acting reversible contraceptive methods included implants and non-hormonal and hormone-releasing intrauterine devices.

The study found there was an increasing proportion of Family Planning clients starting contraception of Māori, Pasifika and Asian descent. 

Meanwhile, more than 55 per cent of clients starting contraception at Family Planning were under age 25.

However, the research found there were still barriers for some women accessing contraceptives. These included cost, a lack of primary care providers trained to give them, a lack of youth-friendly services, poor referral pathways and limited knowledge.