What Can Cause An Ectopic Pregnancy
In many cases, it’s not clear why a woman has an ectopic pregnancy. Sometimes it happens when there’s a problem with the fallopian tubes, such as them being narrow or blocked.
The following are all associated with an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy:
- pelvic inflammatory disease inflammation of the female reproductive system, usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection
- previous ectopic pregnancy the risk of having another ectopic pregnancy is around 10%
- previous surgery on your fallopian tubes such as an unsuccessful female sterilisation procedure
- fertility treatment, such as IVF taking medicine to stimulate ovulation can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy
- becoming pregnant while using anintrauterine device orintrauterine system for contraception it’s rare to get pregnant while using these, but if you do you’re more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy
- increasing age the risk is highest for pregnant women aged over 35
Page last reviewed: 23 August 2022 Next review due: 23 August 2025
What Happens If You Want To Continue The Pregnancy
If you choose to continue with the pregnancy, a healthcare professional will likely remove the IUD. This may help reduce the risks of complications, but the pregnancy will still be considered high risk. Most pregnancies with IUDs in place result in ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.
Still, it is possible to deliver a healthy baby if the embryo is viable. Your healthcare professional will help you choose the best options for your health and the fetus.
What Is Mirena And How Does It Work
Mirena is a brand of T-shaped hormonal intrauterine device used for long-term birth control. This FDA-approved IUD is labeled to have an effectiveness of five years . It can only be placed by a healthcare provider.
Insertion of Mirena takes about five minutes and can be done during a regular visit to the doctor. The device is inserted using a few tools. It can be inserted at any time during the month, including the menses time, if you are not pregnant . If you are breastfeeding, your doctor will tell you about the right time to get it.
Mirena IUD works by releasing the hormone Levonorgestrel. This will thicken the mucus lining of the cervix to prevent the sperm from meeting or fertilizing the egg. It also thins the uterine lining, thereby, suppressing the ovulation partially. All of these will prevent pregnancy .
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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.
Why Am I Late On My Period But Not Pregnant
Missed or late periods happen for many reasons other than pregnancy. Common causes can range from hormonal imbalances to serious medical conditions. There are also two times in a womans life when its totally normal for her period to be irregular: when it first begins, and when menopause starts.
Does an IUD stop your period?
About half of women who use a hormone-containing IUD stop having periods 6 months after its put in. For another 25%, periods happen less often, but dont stop. The hormone-containing IUD can stay in place and work for 3 to 6 years, depending on the brand.
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The Truth About Getting Pregnant When You Have An Iud
Getting pregnant with an IUD is exactly how things arent supposed to go. After all, if you decide to get an IUD, the entire point is to have an incredibly reliable form of contraception that allows you to control whenif everyou get pregnant. But getting pregnant with an IUD can happen in some extremely rare occasions.
Track athlete Sarah Brown knows this firsthand. In July 2016, just four months after giving birth, Brown was training in hopes of making the U.S. Olympic track team for the 1,500 meter run. Brown didnt plan to be pregnant while training for the Olympics, but her copper IUD failedjust as she was running her best race times ever.
I went from crushing workouts to, all of a sudden, in the second interval of a workout, I thought I was running in sand. Racing wasnt fun anymore, Brown told New York magazines The Cut in 2016 when she was training. It was really frustrating because we had concentrated so hard on doing things right, and I didnt feel like I had overtrained. It was like, Why is this happening? Whats wrong with me?
Brown eventually took an at-home pregnancy test that was negative, but a few weeks later, she went to see her doctor who determined that Brown was, in fact, pregnant. Browns IUD was removed, and her daughter was born in March 2016.
So, how likely is it that getting pregnant with an IUD will happen to you the way it happened to Brown?
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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Is There An Easier Way To Keep Track Of Your Cycle
While its possible to track your cycle with a calendar, most people these days use a mobile app. Popular apps such as Natural Cycles and Ovia use your personal information to give an accurate prediction of when you are and are not ovulating. This includes inputting data on your cervical mucus discharge along with when you last had intercourse, cycle length and any other pertinent information.
Since temperature changes are subtle, Purdie says these apps can help graph your basal body temperature.
What Can Cause An Iud To Fail
A woman can get pregnant if the device has slipped partially or completely out of the uterus.
Doctors also call this device expulsion.
However, at times, it may be difficult for women to recognize the symptoms that their IUD has indeed moved out of place.
But IUD expulsion may be more likely for a certain group of women.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , the rate of expulsion is from 2-10% within a year of IUD insertion.
ACOG also found that women who breastfeed or immediately get an IUD after giving birth may be more likely to have their IUD move out of place or get expelled.
In some cases, you can also become pregnant while using an IUD if the birth control device has not taken full effect yet.
It is important to note that the hormonal IUDs Mirena, Skyla, Liletta, and Kyleena may take up to seven days before it becomes effective. This means that you could get pregnant if you have sex without condom or any other back-up form of contraception during this period.
Meanwhile, the copper IUD, Paragard, can help you prevent pregnancy immediately after IUD insertion by a doctor.
In fact, a copper IUD can even be inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex in order to prevent pregnancy.
But did you know that despite the many benefits of the copper IUD, its only brand sold in the United States has a lawsuit under its name?
You read that right.
This resulted in dangerous side effects including fractures, infection, and even ectopic pregnancy.
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The Device Is Not Fully Effective Yet
The type of IUD that you have can impact when you can have sex without the worry of pregnancy. ParaGard is the only copper IUD available in the nation. It is also the only IUD that begins working the moment it is inserted. In fact, it is so effective at preventing pregnancy, that it can actually be used as a form of emergency contraception when placed in the uterus within five days of unprotected sex.
Conversely, hormonal IUDs require that the IUD insertion occurs within a week of the start of your period in order to be effective immediately. The Mayo Clinic notes that if any of these devices are inserted more than seven days after the start of your period, be sure to use backup contraception for one week. When this advice is not taken, pregnancy can occur.
Terrifying Moments In The Er
When I woke up after the surgery, I was in a lot of pain but surrounded by family. I felt dead I couldnt move freely and it took an incredible amount of effort to even try. My OB came in not long after I awoke and explained that my IUD had perforated my uterus which caused an ectopic pregnancy, an egg that was fertilized in one of my fallopian tubes. The growing pregnancy caused the tube to rupture, and I was bleeding internally for nearly 15 hours.
My doctor went on to explain that I lost between one and a half and two liters of bloodabout a third of a persons total blood volume. He said it was incredible I was still here to tell the tale and had I shown up to the hospital even 30 minutes later, I would have died from losing too much blood. He had to resect my left fallopian tube, leaving me with just the right tube to work with if I ever wanted to get pregnant again.
For two days I lie in recovery even though I felt there was no life left in me. I couldnt speak out of sheer exhaustion. My doctor finally ordered a blood transfusion and after four bags of donated blood, I started to feel better.
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Con: Iuds Dont Protect Against Stds
The IUD works by creating an environment in your uterus thats inhospitable to sperm and conception. Depending on the type of IUD, your uterine lining thins, your cervical mucus thickens, or you stop ovulating.
If you or your partner is at risk for STDs, always use a condom in addition to your IUD. Condoms lower, but dont eliminate, the risk for STDs, so ask your OB/GYN about other safer-sex practices, too.
How Do I Get Workplace Accommodations
If you are pregnant or nursing and you need modifications to your job, such as a change in schedule to accommodate morning sickness or breaks to pump breast milk, you may be able to get help from your human resources department or your union representative.
Even though the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act doesnt go into effect until the end of June, many employers, knowing that they will soon need to comply with the new law, may be encouraged to grant pregnant or lactating workers accommodations now.
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How Long Do Iud Cramps Actually Last
Cramps often occur with the insertion of an IUD and are sometimes very severe. In most women, this pain disappears in about 15 minutes. Less severe cramps and light bleeding can last for several days. These symptoms are often relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen .
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Chances Of Pregnancy With An Iud
Although it is extremely rare that an IUD might fail or result in pregnancy, the most likely scenarios involve an IUD being expelled from the uterus or slipping from the uterine canal, says Dr. Cackovic. Another reason for failure might be if the hormonal IUD has expired or needs to be replaced. Additionally, the uterus might have an abnormal shape or could contain a fibroid, which can also be causes for expulsion.
“Generally, the expulsion rate is about 5% in the first year and much lower thereafter,” says George Kovalevsky, MD, an OB/GYN and partner at Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine. “Although rare, pregnancies can occur with the IUD in place. We don’t know exactly why that happens, but no reversible method is perfect.”
That said, the chance of getting pregnant with an IUD is extremely rare. In fact, IUDs tend to be more effective than even birth control pills, which can be impacted by human error. For instance, a person can forget to take a pill, or they might take it inconsistently, thereby lowering its efficacy.
“With typical use that includes the possibility of human error, the risk of pregnancy with the pill is about 7% to 9%,” confirms Dr. Kovalevsky. “With an IUD, the risk is less than 1%.” In fact, only about 0.2% to 0.8% of patients who use an IUD get pregnant, points out Hongmei Meng, MD, an OB/GYN with Altos Oaks Medical Group at Stanford Medicine Childrens Health.
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How Is The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Different From Laws Already In Place
Prior federal legislation provided protection against pregnancy discrimination and some accommodations for disability but was insufficient to meet pregnant workers needs, advocates say.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prevented pregnant people from discrimination in hiring decisions, an important first step, Stender said. Yet its language regarding accommodations made it challenging for pregnant workers to seek accommodations.
Under the PDA, to be entitled to an accommodation, a pregnant worker has to show that other workers who are not pregnant but similar in their ability or inability to work receive accommodations at their workplace, Terman explained.
If a pregnant worker sought to be relieved of heavy-lifting duties, they would have to be able to point to another worker who was relieved of heavy-lifting duties due to an injury, for example. Yet many workers arent in a position to go looking for such a comparison, and the result was that employers frequently denied requests for pregnancy accommodations without consequence.
Two-thirds of pregnant workers were losing their Pregnancy Discrimination Act claims in federal court before passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, said Elizabeth Gedmark, vice president of A Better Balance, a nonprofit advocacy organization.
This was even after a Supreme Court case, Young v. UPS,appeared to set a precedent in favor of workers rights.
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.
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You Feel Pregnancy Fatigue
Canât get out of bed lately? Even with an IUD, you might be pregnant, Dr. Langdon explains. âFatigue is a big sign that you might be expecting,â she says. If youâve been pregnant before, you might recognize that all-consuming tiredness you feel early on when youâre expecting. Fatigue affects up to 60% of all pregnant women, What To Expect reported. So if all you want to do is sink into your bed and sleep all day, you might want to take a pregnancy testâ¦ just in case.
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How Do You Know If You Are Pregnant With An Iud
The symptoms of pregnancy would be the same, with or without the presence of an IUD, Dr Roisin McHugh tells GoodtoKnow, These include a missed period, fatigue, breast tenderness, cravings, mood change and nausea.
This means that if youve just come off the coil and are looking to get pregnant, then it could happen fairly quickly. If you are using the IUD or IUS for contraception and would like to get pregnant, Dr Ellie Rayner explains, You can have it removed at any time by a trained healthcare professional.
Your fertility returns back to normal after removal of an IUS or IUD in a similar time frame after stopping any other form of contraception so you can start trying straight away if you would like.
As well as being an obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Ellie Rayner is an antenatal teacher and founder of The Maternity Collective. She offers lots of free pregnancy and gynaecology advice on her .
So while the beginning of a pregnancy with an IUD might be a little more complex than hoped, theres plenty of help out there both from GPs and external sources.
Its also easy to tell if youre pregnant or not while on the coil as most people know, the best way to determine whether its an early pregnancy is to take a pregnancy test, many of which are at least 60% accurate six days before your next predicted period.
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