Risks Of Becoming Pregnant With An Iud
Intrauterine devices small, flexible devices shaped like the letter T that are inserted into a womanâs uterus by a healthcare providerare one of the most effective reversible methods of birth control available. That said, around one of 100 women with an IUD get pregnant each year, with the highest risk occurring within the first year following the insertion.
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.
Reasons For Early Iud Removal
One of the best things about an IUD is that it lasts for a long time. But there are many reasons why you may want to have an IUD removed before the expiration date, including:
Menstrual changes such as changes in flow, regularity, and cramping
Side effects of levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs like headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, and mood changes
Desire to become pregnant
There are also many medical reasons for early IUD removal, including:
The IUD moves out of place
Infection after childbirth
A new medical concern like certain cancer, liver disease, heart disease, or lupus
A new allergy to an ingredient in the IUD
You can choose to have your IUD removed at any time, based on your own personal preferences.
When Can You Get Pregnant After Iud Removal
The possibility of being able to conceive a baby is one of the things to consider when thinking about what to expect after IUD removal. You may be able to get pregnant right away, without any risks to you or to your baby. No matter how long you have had an IUD, the possibility of having a baby after its removal is not affected.
If you are planning to get pregnant, it is usually recommended to wait till after your first normal menstrual period. This makes dating your pregnancy much easier, since the count usually starts from the first day of your menstrual period. Studies show that around 60% of women get pregnant within three months after IUD removal.
Women who don’t experience complications from IUD removal usually do not have any difficulty conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy. However, in very few women, an IUD can cause a tear in the uterus, or the device may get stuck into the inner wall of the uterus. These women may need surgery to remove the IUD and to repair the uterus. If the uterus is damaged or scarred, further treatment may be needed, including removal of the uterus, which may affect a woman’s ability to conceive in the future.
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What Actually Happens During Iud Removal
You know those strings hanging out of the bottom of your IUD? This is their time to shine. The vast majority of the time, involves doing a simple exam much like a Pap smear, board-certified ob-gyn Antonio Pizarro, M.D., tells SELF. If the strings are visible, the doctor grasps them using an instrument called ring forceps and gently pulls the IUD out. When they tug on the strings, the arms of the IUD will fold so that it comes out safely, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“Usually patients get really worked up, then when its done, they say, Oh, thats it? Jacques Moritz, M.D., an ob-gyn at Weill Cornell Medicine and New YorkPresbyterian Hospital, tells SELF. The general ease of removal comes down to a few major things, he explains: Your doctor doesnt need to push past your cervix to make sure the IUD sits in the appropriate place, the IUDs wings dont have to open up in your uterus , and as weve already mentioned, the IUDs arms just fold in on themselves when its being removed, so its as small as possible.
Can You Get Pregnant While On The Mirena
It is possible for pregnancy to occur when you have the Mirena IUD in, but this is extremely unlikely. The chance of pregnancy when you have this form of contraception is less than one in 100, as the Mirena is 99% effective as a form of birth control.
In between 2-10 % of all people with IUDs, the device can slip partially or even fully out of the uterus, which is often not noticeable at all and can mean that you aren’t protected against unwanted pregnancy.
With hormonal IUDs like Mirena, there are some rare instances where you could get pregnant because the IUD hasn’t started to work yet. Mirena and Skyla, and other types of hormonal IUD can take anything up to seven days before they actually start to prevent pregnancy. Your doctor will advise you to use a condom or another type of contraception to prevent pregnancy during this window.
The copper IUD, Paragard is one of the intrauterine devices that protects immediately against pregnancy, so if you’re worried about that risk then it’s a good idea to ask your doctor if the copper IUD could be right for you.
Another reason that your IUD might be ineffective is if it remains in use after the FDA-approved expiration date.
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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.
How Does It Happen
There are a few reasons pregnancy could occur in people with an IUD. In some cases, a person could become pregnant before the IUD is effective since not all types are effective immediately.
Copper IUDs, like Paragard, protect against pregnancy immediately because the copper changes the environment in the uterus, making it toxic to both the sperm and the egg. This prevents the sperm from reaching the egg and the egg from attaching to the uterine wall.
Hormonal IUDs, like Mirena or Kyleena, take about seven days to start working. These types are generally considered effective immediately if inserted during your period because of where you are in your menstrual and ovulation cycles.
If you have a hormonal IUD inserted, its recommended to use a backup contraceptive method or abstain from intercourse for seven days.
In other cases, pregnancy could occur if the IUD shifts its position. In a small number of people, the IUD may slip partially or entirely out of the uterus . If the IUD shifts, even partly out of position, it will no longer be fully effective at preventing pregnancy.
Another potential way pregnancy can occur is if the IUD remains in your body longer than its recommended expiration date. The amount of time an IUD can stay in and remain effective depends on the type of IUD. The manufacturer recommendations for a few IUDs are:
- Skyla: Up to three years
- Kyleena: Up to five years
- Mirena: Up to seven years
- Paragard: Up to 10 years
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Who Can Use An Iud
Most people with a womb can use an IUD.
A GP or nurse will ask about your medical history to check if an IUD is suitable for you.
The IUD may not be suitable if you:
- think you might be pregnant
- have an untreated STI or a pelvic infection
- have problems with your womb or cervix
- have unexplained bleeding between periods or after sex
People who have had an ectopic pregnancy or who have an artificial heart valve must consult their GP or clinician before having an IUD fitted.
When Should I Have My Iud Removed
Get your IUD removed if:
- It has expired. Your doctor should be able to tell you how long the type that you have is supposed to last.
- You want to get pregnant.
- You’ve had side effects like heavy bleeding, severe headaches, or pain.
- You have a sexually transmitted infection.
- Your IUD has moved out of your uterus or has broken.
- You got pregnant while the IUD was in place.
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How Long Does It Take To Ovulate After Iud Removal
You might be able to ovulate straight away after IUD removal, but on average it can take between 10 to 12 days after you remove your IUD for you to start ovulating. For most couples, it takes around four to six months of trying to conceive. After around one year of trying to conceive after removing the IUD, around 85-90 % of couples will be successful.
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What Are The Signs Of Not Being Able To Have A Baby
Common Signs of Infertility in Women
- Irregular periods. The average womans cycle is 28 days long.
- Painful or heavy periods. Most women experience cramps with their periods.
- No periods. Its not uncommon for women to have an off month here and there.
- Symptoms of hormone fluctuations.
- Pain during sex.
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Is There Anything Else You Need To Know
Youll likely have a follow-up appointment 6 to 8 weeks after your IUD replacement to check that the strings are in place and dont need to be trimmed further.
If youre having any symptoms or if the IUD is causing you or your partner any discomfort during P-in-V sex, this is the time to bring it up.
See a healthcare professional right away if you:
- have persistent pain or bleeding
- notice a foul smell or discharge from your vagina
- develop a fever
Can You Get Your Period 2 Days After Iud Removal
You may have some cramping or a small amount of vaginal bleeding that may last several hours to several days after the IUD removal. You may use a sanitary pad or a tampon if you need to until the bleeding stops. It can take up to 3 months after the IUD removal for your normal menstrual cycle to return.
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How Long Does It Take To Remove An Iud And How Will I Feel While It Is Being Removed
The process of IUD removal doesnt take much time your doctor will be able to pull it out in minutes. However, it may take longer if your doctor has trouble getting it out. And you might experience some mild cramps while your doctor removes it.
Getting pregnant after an IUD removal is possible and it wont affect your fertility. And, you can always try the above ways to enhance your fertility.
What To Expect After Iud Removal
Many women wonder what can happen after IUD removal. An intrauterine device or IUD, is a T-shaped device that is placed into the uterus to prevent a woman from becoming pregnant. It is an effective form of birth control that can be reversed because it can be removed at any time, especially if a woman decides she wants to get pregnant. Other reasons for removal of the device include discomfort, unwanted side effects, need for replacement, or personal choice.
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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.
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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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.
At A Glance: Facts About The Iud
- When inserted correctly, IUDs are more than 99% effective.
- An IUD works as soon as it’s put in and lasts for 5 to 10 years, depending on the type.
- It can be put in at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as you’re not pregnant.
- It can be taken out at any time by a specially trained doctor or nurse. It’s then possible to get pregnant straight away.
- Your periods can be heavier, longer or more painful in the first 3 to 6 months after an IUD is put in. You might get spotting or bleeding between periods.
- There’s a small risk of getting an infection after it’s been fitted.
- There’s a small risk that your body may push out the IUD or it may move. Your doctor or nurse will teach you how to check it’s in place.
- It can be uncomfortable when the IUD is put in, but you can take painkillers after, if you need to.
- It may not be suitable if you have had previous pelvic infections.
- It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections , so you may need to use condoms as well.
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What To Do And Look For At Home
- You may have some cramping or a small amount of vaginal bleeding that may last several hours to several days after the IUD removal. You may use a sanitary pad or a tampon if you need to until the bleeding stops.
- It can take up to 3 months after the IUD removal for your normal menstrual cycle to return.
- After removal of your IUD, you no longer have birth control. It is important to talk to your health care provider about another method of birth control if you do not wish to become pregnant.
What To Expect When Getting An Iud Removed
The procedure for removing an intrauterine device is the same for everyone, regardless of which type of IUD you have. Just as with any visit to the gynecologist, youll swap your clothes for a paper gown and lie down on an examination table with your feet on stirrups. The doctor will then insert a speculum to widen the vaginal canal for easier viewing.
Your doctor will be able to see threads from the IUD hanging out of the cervix. They will gently pull on these strings to pull out the intrauterine device. It really is that simple, and the process generally only takes a few minutes.
In rare cases, an IUD could become stuck within the uterus. When this occurs, your gynecologist may apply numbing medication to widen the cervix and use forceps to remove it.
You wont feel pain, but its common to feel mild cramping. Its also normal to experience light bleeding for several days after the removal.
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