Despite the numerous benefits of the postpartum copper intrauterine device (PPIUD), which is inserted within 48 hours after giving birth, it is underutilized in many resource‐constrained settings, including Tanzania. We conducted in‐depth interviews with 20 pregnant women who received contraceptive counseling during routine antenatal care in 2016–2017 and 27 postpartum women who had a PPIUD inserted in 2018 to understand reasons for use versus nonuse and continuation versus discontinuation. Primary motivators for using a PPIUD included: convenience, effectiveness, perceived lack of side effects, and duration of pregnancy protection. Barriers to use included: fear of insertion, concerns related to sexual experiences post‐insertion, and limited knowledge. Women who had a PPIUD inserted continued use when their expectations matched their experience, while discontinuation resulted from unexpected expulsion and experience of unanticipated side effects. Frequent follow‐up and guidance on side‐effect management influenced women's decisions to continue use. To support uptake and continued utilization of the PPIUD, postpartum contraceptive counseling should explicitly address side effects and risk of expulsion.
Published in a peer-reviewed journal of the Population Council.