Impact of social network on IUD experience: A qualitative study
Awarded 2023
Side effects matter: Centering people’s experiences with contraceptive side effects
Youri Hwang, PhD, MSN
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

This research aims to investigate the impact of social networks on the decision-making process of women who discontinue intrauterine devices (IUDs) due to changes in bleeding and cramping. Although IUDs are highly effective and offered to all individuals of reproductive age, side effects can lead to discontinuation. The study addresses the gap in research by exploring how social context and networks, including family, friends, and social media sources, influence women’s understanding of side effects and their decision-making processes regarding IUD use. A qualitative approach with sociograms will be used to capture the process, communication, and quality of relationships in the decision-making process. The study will provide invaluable information that cannot be obtained through quantitative data alone and will inform current contraceptive counseling by promoting the integration of social aspects of individuals. The findings of this study will enable the development of patient-centered contraceptive care by identifying social factors associated with contraceptive experiences and facilitating the creation of innovative counseling methods. As a result, this research will contribute to advancing the understanding of how social networks influence contraceptive decisions and experiences, ultimately contributing to improving reproductive health outcomes.