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Clinical Trial of Levonorgestrel Intrauterine System Among Anemic Women in Kenya (LISA)

  • Kenya
National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
2023 - 2026

To improve the health and well-being of women in Kenya, FHI 360 is researching the hormonal IUD as a potential tool for alleviating iron-deficiency anemia — a global health issue that affects 30% of women ages 15–49 and 37% of pregnant women worldwide. The condition especially affects people who are living in poverty or experiencing social exclusion.

Iron-deficiency anemia is also more prevalent among people who experience heavy menstrual bleeding. Research suggests that one potential tool for alleviating iron-deficiency anemia is the hormonal IUD, as it often reduces or completely pauses menstrual periods. This option may be appealing because it does not require a person to take daily pills, unlike iron supplementation. However, more and better evidence is needed to understand this impact.

To gather that evidence, FHI 360 is working in partnership with the University of Nairobi’s Institute of Tropical & Infectious Diseases to conduct a randomized control trial called LISA. The study will follow 600 low-income anemic women living in Kangemi, an informal settlement in Nairobi, to better understand the effects of the hormonal IUD on hemoglobin and iron stores over the course of 18 months.

This important research is essential to more broadly understanding the role of hormonal contraception in preventing and managing anemia around the world.

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