What Is An Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy happens when a pregnancy develops outside your uterus. For example, it can happen if a fertilized egg starts to grow in your fallopian tube.
Ectopic pregnancy is rare but serious. If left untreated, it can cause internal bleeding and infection. In some cases, it can even be fatal.
If you get pregnant while using an IUD, the device raises the chances that your pregnancy will be ectopic. But if you have an IUD, your risk of getting pregnant in the first place is low. In turn, your overall risk of ectopic pregnancy is also low.
According to scientists in the International Journal of Womens Health , ectopic pregnancy affects an estimated 2 out of 10,000 women with a hormonal IUD each year. It affects an estimated 5 out of 10,000 women with a copper IUD each year.
In comparison, more than 1 out of 100 sexually active women who dont use birth control will have an ectopic pregnancy over the course of a year.
What Happens If You Get Pregnant With An Iud
The first step is to contact your doctor right away. According to Dr. Addante, your medical provider will most likely start by determining
If you are in fact pregnantVia a urine or blood test, which can determine if there is enough human chorionic gonadotropin the hormone produced during pregnancy to indicate a pregnancy.
Where that pregnancy isThink: inside the uterus or outside of it. If it’s inside, then your doctor will move on to the next step. If it’s outside of the uterus, it’s most likely an ectopic pregnancy. Which is the most common type of pregnancy found with IUDs in place. It means that the egg has implanted in another location outside the uterus . Which, Dr. Addante said, can happen when IUDs slow down the cilia that line the fallopian tubes. With that conveyor belt being a little bit slower, the fertilized egg is more likely to implant there, she said.
If you have an ectopic pregnancy with an IUD, treatment may include medication to end the pregnancy or surgery, said Dr. Addante.
Whether or not to remove the IUDIf you have an intrauterine pregnancy , then your doctor will likely check if the IUD strings are visible. Then the recommendation is to remove the IUD, because leaving it in place increases the risk of things like miscarriage or developing an infection inside of the uterus, Dr. Addante said.
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.
Read Also: Why Is Ivf Classed As High Risk Pregnancy
Leading Up To The Iud Removal
IUDs expire after three to 12 years, depending on the brand. While you dont have to get it removed on the exact day it was inserted, you should not wait too long after. Do not delay removal for more than a few weeks without having a direct conversation with your doctor. Depending on the IUD, delaying removal beyond the recommended time frame can cause irregular bleeding, challenges in removal, and an increased chance of pregnancy.
You can schedule your IUD removal at any point in your menstrual cycle. The only preparation you need to do before having your IUD removed is scheduling the appointment. However, if you are prone to cramping or pain with your period, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever one or two hours beforehand.
Signs Of Pregnancy With An Iud
If you become pregnant with an IUD, you might experience some typical pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue, cravings, mood changes, tender breasts, and a missed period. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, low back pain, mid pain in the abdomen or pelvis, and mild cramping on one side of the pelvis.
If you do turn up pregnant, your doctor will need to determine the safest path going forward for you. “If an IUD is left in place, there are studies that show an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and infection during and after labor, says Brauer. If an IUD can be removed easily, it may be best to remove it however, this also may increase the risk of miscarriage. Risks and benefits of each should be discussed with your doctor.”
Dr. Anate Brauer, a reproductive endocrinologist and IVF director at Shady Grove Fertility
Don’t Miss: How To See How Far Along You Are In Pregnancy
How We Handle Pregnancy With An Iud
Our first step is to determine the type of pregnancy, which could be either:
Intrauterine, which is the normal location for pregnancy development, allowing for fetal growth over 9 months, or
Ectopic, which is when a fertilized egg implants in a fallopian tube or other location outside the uterus and poses serious health risks to the woman
We used to believe that having an IUD increased the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. Now we understand that because IUDs are so effective at preventing intrauterine pregnancies that, if a pregnancy does occur, theres a higher likelihood that it developed outside the uterus. But patients arent at increased risk for ectopic pregnancies just because they have an IUD.
Next, we look for the IUD strings in the cervix to potentially remove the device. Studies have shown that the risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, and infection of the amniotic sac and fluid before delivery is significantly higher when IUDs are left in place during pregnancy compared to pregnancies in which the IUD is removed. However, while taking out the IUD improves the pregnancy outcome, there is still a higher risk of pregnancy complications compared to patients who never had an IUD in place. For most women whose IUD strings are visible through the cervix, we recommend removal of the IUD at the first visit.
What Should You Do If You Get Pregnant With An Iud
Youll want to contact your ob-gyn ASAP, Dr. Minkin says. Our first step will be for us to determine if it is a pregnancy inside the uterus or ectopic, and we will utilize an ultrasound to help us do so, Dr. Aagaard says. Next, we will look to see if the IUD is still in place and if we can see and grasp the strings when doing a speculum exam.
Read Also: How Does Surrogate Mother Get Pregnant
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.
Can Iud Cause Smell
While patients do sometimes have some temporary side effects when they first get an IUD – they usually go away after a few months when their body gets used to it. An IUD should never be causing a weird smell, itching, redness, or other irritation. These are all signs of infection and should be checked out asap.
The Chances Of Getting Pregnant With An Iud Are Small
Your chance of getting pregnant with an IUD is 0.1 to 0.2 percent. That means, for every 1,000 women with an IUD, one to two of them will become pregnant, says Thomas Ruiz, MD, Lead OB-GYN at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center.
Most of the time, if you get pregnant with an IUD it’s because of one of the following three factors:
- The IUD is not properly placed in the uterus.
- The IUD is properly places, but your uterus contracts and dislodges the device, which you’ll probably notice either because the IUD will fall out or the IUD strings will feel out of place. That’s why a follow-up appointment to check placement is important, Ruiz says.
- A woman has a uterine abnormality that neither she nor the doctor knows about until it’s too late.
But even with proper placement and no abnormalities, the IUD, like any other form of birth control, does not completely guarantee pregnancy prevention. “We don’t always know why it happens, but it can fail,” Ruiz says.
How An Iud Compares To The Pill
The IUD is just as effective as traditional birth control pills. But the pill is only 99% effective if it’s taken at the same time every day. And that can be hard for even the most diligent person to do perfectly, Ruiz says.
Moreover, unlike the pill, the IUD is highly effective regardless of your weight, age, or medication, Ruiz says. Some antibiotic medications can make the pill less effective, and studies have shown that obesity can also the pill’s effectiveness.
Note: To learn more about contraceptives like the pill, read our complete birth control guide.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Insurance If You Are Already Pregnant
First A Quick Primer On How An Iud Works
An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a small, T-shaped piece of flexible plastic thats inserted into a womans uterus through a quick procedure. The insertion process feels different for everyone. For some women, especially those whove already given birth, insertion is a minor annoyance.
For others, however, it can be rather painful, especially if the doctor needs to call in tools like dilators to further open up your cervix in order to get the IUD placed in the proper spot. The good news, though, is that the worst discomfort should be over in a matter of minutes. But you might experience cramping or spotting for three to six months after insertion, according to Planned Parenthood.
A hormonal IUD, like the Mirena, works to prevent pregnancy by releasing the hormone progestin, which thickens the mucus in the cervix to stop sperm from fertilizing an egg. It also keeps the lining of the uterus thin so its not a hospitable environment for fertilization, explains Sherry A. Ross, MD, ob-gyn and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Womens Intimate Health. Period.
Risks Of Pregnancy With An Iud
Although pregnancy with an IUD is uncommon, it can be dangerous for both the mother and the fetus. In some cases, pregnancy with an IUD may result in an ectopic pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy is a rare condition in which the egg attaches to tissue outside the uterus, such as the lining of the fallopian tube. If this type of pregnancy is not removed, it can lead to tearing, bleeding, and even death.
Pregnancy with an IUD increases the risk of:
Recommended Reading: Donating Plasma While Breastfeeding
Read Also: When Can I Test For Pregnancy Calculator
Remind Me How Does An Iud Prevent Pregnancy
An IUD is a form of long-acting reversible contraception thats inserted in the uterus. Depending on the type of IUD, it can be left in place for three to 12 years.
There are two kinds of IUDs: hormonal and non-hormonal. . The hormonal IUDs release progestin. They work by thickening the mucus in the cervix, thinning the lining of the uterus ,slowing down the cilia inside the fallopian tube , and, sometimes, preventing ovulation. The copper in non-hormonal IUDs are toxic to sperm. And they do all of that to prevent an egg and the sperm from fertilizing.
IUDs are considered one of the most effective forms of reversible contraception that we have, said Dr. Addante. However, she said, nothing is completely foolproof. Barrier protection can provide extra protection. And unlike IUDs, condoms can also help prevent the spread of STIs.
Can You Get Pregnant With An Iud
While rare, it is possible
If you are wondering whether you can get pregnant with an intrauterine device , the short answer is yes, but it’s uncommon.IUDs are small, flexible devices shaped like the letter T that are inserted into a woman’s uterus by a healthcare providerare one of the most effective reversible methods of birth control available.
That said, around one out of 100 women with an IUD get pregnant each year, with the highest risk occurring within the first year following the insertion.
IUD expulsion, in which the IUD partially or completely falls out of the uterus, increases the risk of pregnancy. IUD expulsion occurs in about 2% to 10% of cases.
While it is rare to become pregnant with an IUD, it does occur, and it is important to learn about the risks and complications associated with an IUD pregnancy.
Recommended Reading: How To Improve Sperm Quality For Pregnancy
Does The Age Of An Iud Matter
An IUD can work for years before you need to replace it. But eventually it expires. Using an expired IUD may raise your risk of pregnancy.
In most cases, a copper IUD can last for up to 12 years. A hormonal IUD can last for up to 3 years or longer, depending on the specific brand you use.
Ask your doctor when you should have your IUD removed and replaced.
If you have an IUD, contact your doctor if you:
- want to become pregnant
- think you might be pregnant
- suspect that your IUD has slipped out of place
- want to have your IUD removed or replaced
You should also contact your doctor if you develop any of the following signs or symptoms while using an IUD:
- fever, chills, or other signs of infection
- bad pain or cramps in your lower belly
- pain or bleeding during sex
In most cases, the potential side effects of using an IUD are minor and temporary. But in rare cases, an IUD can cause serious complications, such as:
- ectopic pregnancy
How Long Does It Last
Unlike birth control pills, which you have to take daily, Kyleena is good for about 5 years, which is when the amount of hormones in the device drops to a level that makes pregnancy possible again. If pregnancy is not in the future plans, then Kyleena needs to be removed after the 5th year, and replaced, or another birth control method needs to be used after removal.
It can be replaced with a new Kyleena device if continued contraceptive protection is wanted.
Kyleena, due to how it needs to be inserted and all that jazz, does need a prescription and a doctors visit to get, so unfortunately, its not something like condoms where all it takes is a quick trip to the pharmacy.
However, once its in, its in for the 5 years, unless something happens and it comes loose, which most of the time will happen before that follow up visit and will be easily spotted by the doctor.
Read Also: Nutraburst Side Effects
Also Check: Can You Get Pregnant With Bv
Chances Of Getting Pregnant With An Iud
For starters, you’ll want to take a deep breath before you take that pregnancy test. Like we said, the chances of pregnancy with an IUD are remarkably low ICYDK, they work by blocking and/or damaging sperm, preventing fertilization, and they’re more than 99% effective at doing so. But pregnancy with an IUD can be potentially very risky, which is why you’ll want to make a little calendar note for when it’s time to have yours replaced or removed.
“IUDs may have different expiration dates, and it is important to check with the manufacturer and your provider,” says Brauer. “Most of the levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs last for 3-5 years, whereas the copper IUDs can last for up to 10 years. Of course, if you feel like something isn’t right, even before the expiration date, make sure to call your doctor.”
And while rare, there are things that can go wrong with an IUD, she says. “The most common reasons for failure are a shifted or poorly placed IUD , expulsion of an IUD, unidentified pregnancy at time of IUD placement, or an expired IUD.”
What Happens If You Get Pregnant On Mirena
If you become pregnant on Mirena, there might be an increased risk of having an ectopic pregnancy or tubal pregnancy. It is the pregnancy where the embryo implants outside the uterus or in the fallopian tubes.
The other probable risks could be :
To avoid these complications, the doctor will recommend removing the Mirena. In some cases, Mirena cannot be reached as the uterus grows. Therefore, it is left in its place so as not to harm the pregnancy or the mother.
Recommended Reading: What Does An Ectopic Pregnancy Feel Like
But If You Got Your Mirena Or Paragard When You Were 25 Or Older You Might Want To Ask Your Doctor About Delaying Removal Or Replacement
Gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter, MD, told INSIDER that she always informs her IUD-using patients about the extended use data, provided they fall into the right age range.
Gunter does acknowledge that the studies are small, but she also acknowledges that their results are pretty impressive: She cited one recent study that followed 398 women using Mirena 2 years past the expiration date. Those women reported zero pregnancies between years 5 and 7, she said.