What Is An Iud
An IUD is a small T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus for long-acting, reversible contraception. There are two types: hormone-releasing IUDs and the copper IUD .
The placement of the IUD is a simple procedure usually done in your healthcare professionals office. Your healthcare provider will insert the device through your vagina and cervix.
Two strings attached to the T-shape device remain hanging through your cervix in order for you and your healthcare provider to check placement. Check your IUD strings once a month, between menstrual periods.
When Is An Iud Not A Good Option
An IUD might not be a good option for you if you have:
- a uterus that is not the usual shape
- a current pelvic infection.
The hormonal IUD might not be a good option for you if you have:
- been treated for breast cancer
- severe liver disease.
The copper IUD might not be a good option for you if you have:
- heavy periods
Its Also Possible To Get Pregnant If An Error During Insertion Means Your Iud Doesnt Stay In Place
For instance, if the IUD moves from the upper cavity of the uterus into the lower segment, it may not be as effective, Dr. Shepherd says.
Sometimes its even possible for the IUD to perforate the uterus, meaning it punctures the wall of the organ or goes all the way through it. However, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , this only happens in about 1 out of 1,000 people with IUDs, based on all the available data .
In any case, this is why doctors recommend that anyone who gets an IUD comes back a month later to make sure it’s still nestled in the right place in the uterus. Dr. Whelihan says that many people dont show up for that visit because they feel fine and its an inconvenience, but its important.”
This is also why doctors typically recommend that people who just got IUDs check their strings monthly for at least the first three post-insertion months. Being unable to feel the strings hanging from your cervix doesnt automatically mean your IUD has migrated and left you vulnerable to pregnancy the strings can curl up around the cervix or just generally be hard to feel. But if you cant feel the strings and are experiencing any strange symptoms like pain, cramping, and bleedingor if you have those symptoms even if you can feel the stringsyou should see your ob/gyn to make sure everything checks out.
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Myth: Problems After Removal
Some couples do not want to use the IUD because they incorrectly believe that the IUD will cause infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or miscarriage.
Fact: no increased risk of infertility
Good studies find no increased risk of infertility among women who have used IUDs, including young women and women with no children. Whether or not a woman has an IUD, however, if she develops pelvic inflammatory disease and it is not treated, there is some chance that she will become infertile. PID can permanently damage the lining of the fallopian tubes and may partially or totally block one or both tubes enough to cause infertility.
Fact: no increased risk of ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage after removal
Because any pregnancy among IUD users is rare, ectopic pregnancy among IUD users is even rarer. An IUD does not increase a womans overall risk of ectopic pregnancy. In fact, an IUD users risk of an ectopic pregnancy is much lower than the risk to a woman who is not using any method of contraception. In the unlikely event of pregnancy in an IUD user, 6 to 8 in every 100 of these pregnancies is ectopic. Thus, the great majority of pregnancies after IUD failure are not ectopic. Still, ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening, so a provider should be aware that ectopic pregnancy is possible if an IUD fails.
IUDs do not cause miscarriages after they have been removed. If correct insertion technique is used, the use of an IUD will not cause any difficulty in future pregnancies.
What Is A Miscarriage
A miscarriage happens if a pregnancy ends spontaneously before its 20th week. At that point, the fetus isnt developed enough to survive outside the uterus.
If you get pregnant while using an IUD, the device increases the risk of miscarriage. If you want to stay pregnant, its important to remove the IUD early in pregnancy.
Sometimes, an IUD can slip out of place. If that happens, the risk of pregnancy is higher.
To check the placement of your IUD:
Contact your doctor if:
- you cant feel the IUD string
- the IUD string feels longer or shorter than it used to
- you can feel the hard plastic of the IUD coming out of your cervix
Your doctor can use an ultrasound exam to check the internal positioning of your IUD. If it has slipped out of place, they can insert a new IUD.
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Is It Actually Possible
Yes, you can get pregnant while using an IUD but its rare.
IUDs are more than 99 percent effective. This means that less than 1 out of every 100 people who have an IUD will become pregnant.
All IUDs hormonal, non-hormonal, or copper have a similar failure rate.
Read on to learn why this happens, your options for emergency contraception, when to take a pregnancy test, and more.
How Do You Get Pregnant With An Iud
A IUD is a small T shaped device that a medical professional inserts into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It works by either releasing a small amount of hormones or using copper to create a hostile inflammatory environment that prevents fertilization and implantation. Many women choose an IUD as birth control because they are extremely effective and they can be left in for many years.
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Timing Of Removal If You Wish To Avoid Pregnancy
Scotchie says you can remove an IUD at any time. But if you want to prevent pregnancy right away, you need to use another form of contraception such as condoms or birth control pills until you want to become pregnant.
Talk with your doctor ahead of time to determine the right method of birth control for you. Examples of other reversible methods include:
- oral contraceptives
- birth control implant or shot
You Have A Positive Pregnancy Test
When youâre happy with your IUD, it might be hard to even imagine that you could be pregnant. So if youâre experiencing symptoms, why not take a test to assuage your fears? âIf youâre having spotting, bleeding, breast tenderness, or fatigue, you could very well be pregnant, even with an IUD,â says Dr. Langdon. If it is positive, call your OB/GYN right away to figure out the next steps to ensure your health and safety. âItâs usually removed but sometimes itâs left inside. The complication rate is higher if it is left in the uterus compared to early removal but removal can also cause a miscarriage.â A positive test is definitely one of the biggest signs of pregnancy with an IUD.
Although it can be scary to think of possibly becoming pregnant with an IUD, it shouldnât stop you from opting for that form of birth control if thatâs what you choose. Dr. Farid agrees, stating: “The chance of a pregnancy is extremely low with an IUD it is still an excellent form of birth control.â
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How Effective Are Iuds
Both hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. That means, fewer than 1 out of 100 people who get an IUD will get pregnant each year.
Moreover, one of the greatest things about IUDs is that they remain highly effective over whole time, theyre inserted White says.
That said, its still possible to get pregnant with an IUD, says Katie White, MD, associate professor of OB-GYN at Boston University School of Medicine.
Related Article Module: Why ectopic pregnancies are so dangerous and how to tell when you have one In some cases, if you become pregnant with an IUD it can result in life-threatening complications, like an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg implants itself outside the uterus, most commonly in one of the fallopian tubes. This can cause the fallopian tube to rupture, resulting in major internal bleeding.
Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy typically include pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, lightheadedness, fainting, and shock. Seek immediate medical attention if you think youre experiencing an ectopic pregnancy.
Luckily The Available Research Shows That Its Extremely Rare To Get Pregnant With An Iud
IUDs are a very, very reliable method of birth control, Maureen Whelihan, M.D., an ob/gyn at the Center for Sexual Health & Education, tells SELF. Jason James, M.D., medical director at Miami’s FemCare Ob-Gyn, agrees, but he also notes that even the best birth control can fail. Theres nothing thats 100 percent, he tells SELF.
Heres the generally accepted statistic: Fewer than one person out of every 100 with an IUD will get pregnant within the first year of use.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites a 2011 Contraception review in its materials about effectiveness of different birth control methods. The review examined the largest and most methodologically sound data on the subject, concluding that the failure rate for Paragard and Mirena are 0.8 and 0.2 percent respectively.
A 2017 study in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health studied 15,728 contraceptive use intervals from 6,683 women over four years, also concluding that IUDs were only likely to fail 1 percent of the time in a period of 12 months.
As you can see, the overall point is that getting pregnant with an IUD is extremely rare.
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Types Of Birth Control & Their Effectiveness
For those who want to practice safe sex and prevent pregnancy, there are an array of options on the market. According to Planned Parenthood, condoms are 85% effective and birth control pills are 91% effective. However, these forms of contraception can fail due to user error. Even with the best intentions, condoms can break. Moreover, the pills have to be administered at the same time every day. Late and missed doses can lead to pregnancy.
This is why many doctors advise choosing more permanent preventative measures. The patch and the vaginal ring tend to be slightly more effective due to their weekly and monthly applications, but they still only prevent pregnancy 91% of the time.
The birth control shot is slightly better at 94% and it lasts up to three months. Nevertheless, the most effective methods of birth control are the implant and the IUD. These options last for years and the processes are reversible. Compared to their competition, these contraceptives have more than 99% efficacy.
It is important to remember that all forms of birth control have their pros and cons, so it is imperative to do your research. In addition, when looking for the best birth control method for you, take the time to discuss your options, the potential side effects, and the possible issues that can arise with your physician before making any final decisions.
What To Know About Hormonal Iuds
There are four types of hormonal IUDs available in the U.S.: Mirena, Skyla, Liletta and Kyleena.
Mirena and Liletta are effective for seven years, Kyleena works for five and Skyla works for three.
Can I use it if Im breastfeeding? Yes. Hormonal IUDs are progestin-only, meaning theyre completely safe and effective for nursing moms, and theres no risk of decreasing your milk supply.
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Reasons To Remove Mirena
I need a new one
Mirena can remain in the uterus for up to 7 years to prevent pregnancy. If you are also using Mirena to treat heavy periods, you will need a new one after 5 years. If you choose to continue using Mirena, youll make an appointment with your healthcare professional to remove Mirena and place a new one. Your new IUD can be placed immediately after the removal of the old one.
I want to get pregnant
If you are removing Mirena because you want to get pregnant, you can start trying as soon as Mirena is removed. Your healthcare professional can remove Mirena at any time. You may become pregnant as soon as Mirena is removed. About 8 out of 10 women who want to become pregnant will become pregnant sometime in the first year after Mirena is removed.
I no longer want to use Mirena
Mirena is intended for use up to 7 years, but you can stop using Mirena at any time by asking your healthcare professional to remove it. You could become pregnant as soon as Mirena is removed, so you should use another method of birth control if you do not want to become pregnant. Talk to your healthcare professional about the best birth control methods for you, because your new method may need to be started 7 days before Mirena is removed to prevent pregnancy.
Do I Need To Remove My Iud If I Have Chlamydia
Notably, presence of newly diagnosed gonorrhea or chlamydia infection is not an indication for IUD removal. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends a preinsertion physical examination to evaluate for signs of cervicitis and screening tests for gonorrhea or chlamydia in high-risk women.
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Are Iuds Effective In Preventing Pregnancy
Both types of IUDs are incredibly effective. Less than one percent of all women who get them get pregnant. In other words, fewer than one out of one hundred people using them will accidentally get pregnant.
IUDs are effective as soon as they are correctly inserted, and they stay effective for many years. They are great for women who are not yet ready to start a family. However, they can always be taken out by your medical professional. IUDs do not affect your fertility in any long-term way. You should be able to get pregnant very quickly after you remove the IUD.
Taking A Pregnancy Test
If you suspect youre pregnant, consider taking an at-home pregnancy test. These tests claim to be up to 99% effective. In most cases, the tests provide accurate results, but their reliability depends on following the instructions and not testing too early after conception.
Its also recommended to discuss your concerns and symptoms with your healthcare provider to ensure the IUD is working correctly. They may also perform a pregnancy test in the office to confirm whether you are pregnant.
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Fertility Depends On The Type Of Contraceptive Device Used
Whichever type of IUD you have, you can consult with your doctor about scheduling an IUD removal procedure at a time in your cycle that will enhance your chances of getting pregnant. Your doctor may recommend that you wait for a cycle or two before you try to get pregnant so that you can pinpoint with better accuracy the date of conception. The removal process may cause minor bleeding and spotting for a couple of days and you may have some difficulty identifying where you are in your menstrual cycle as a result.
Copper IUDA copper IUD does not use hormones to prevent pregnancy. Copper IUDs work because the copper creates a hostile environment in your uterus for sperm. Your normal menstrual cycle was not affected by a copper IUD thus, your body does not need any time to return to its normal cycle. Pregnancy can occur immediately upon its removal.
Hormonal IUDWith a hormonal IUD, pregnancy was prevented by releasing progestin hormones into your body. Depending on the type of hormonal IUD you used, the hormones affect your normal menstrual cycle by impairing your bodys ability to release a fertile egg. Removing the IUD also removes the hormones that prevent pregnancy. It is therefore possible for you to get pregnant in the first cycle you have without the IUD. In some cases, however, your body may need a week or two to resume its normal cycle before you can become fertile.
Trouble Getting Pregnant After Iud Removal
Some women may find it easy to get pregnant after IUD removal, while others may find it difficult. In most cases, difficulty conceiving after intrauterine device removal is unrelated to the device itself. Birth control options do not delay a womans fertility in nearly all situations. Instead, some common reasons why you may find it challenging to regain your fertility after IUD removal may include other gynecologic issues such as irregular periods, ovulation irregularities, and pelvic pain.
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Does Effectiveness Vary Among The Different Iuds
Effectiveness does vary slightly among all the currently available IUDs however, they all have an effectiveness rating of above 99% .
Good quality trials have reported the following:
- Paragard IUD: chances of pregnancy 0.8%
- Mirena IUD: chances of pregnancy 0.2%
- Skyla IUD: chances of pregnancy 0.4%
- Copper T 380A: chances of pregnancy 0.6%
- LNG-IUC: chances of pregnancy 0.2%.
The Tl dr On Pregnancy And Iuds
Becoming pregnant with an IUD inserted is “exceedingly rare,” according to an article published by the NLM, and it’s still one of the most effective forms of contraception. The pill, the patch, and the hormonal vaginal ring, for example, all have a typical use failure rate of 7 percent compared to less than 1 percent for IUDs, according to the CDC. That said, there isn’t one “best” form of birth control, and your needs may change over time, per the Office on Women’s Health. So if those risks of pregnancy with an IUD inserted make you feel uneasy, chat with your doc about your other birth control options.
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