You Have Pain Even Though The Iud Is In
One sign of pregnancy that absolutely shouldn’t be ignored is pain, especially in your abdomen. “If you are having abdominal or pelvic pain that does not go away with over the counter pain medications, or you are having heavy vaginal bleeding, you need to be evaluated immediately,” explains Dr. Farid. Unfortunately, pain can be a sign of something more worrisome. âWomen who do get pregnant while using an IUD have an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy, which is very risky for a woman’s health.”
Hereâs how it happens. During an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg doesnât grow in the uterus , but rather in the fallopian tube, although it can occur in the ovary, or even the cervix, the Mayo Clinic reported. It can lead to pelvic or abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, and pregnancy loss. And if you experience sudden severe pain in your abdomen, shoulder, or lower back, or feel cramping on one side of your pelvis, or even faint, you should go to the emergency room, ACOG reported.
Who Is An Iud Right For
IUDs are a good birth control option for many girls and women. However, IUDs aren’t recommended for someone:
- with PID or an active STD infection
- who is already pregnant or may be pregnant
- who has problems with her uterus, like a disease or malformation, or has abnormal bleeding
Experts recommend IUDs as a good birth control option for younger women and teens because they last for many years, need no daily care, and are very effective at preventing pregnancy.
Case: Gynecologist Accused Of Placing An Iud Without Performing A Pregnancy Test
A 34-year-old woman presents to her gynecologist for planned placement of the Mirena Intrauterine System . She was divorced 2 months ago and is interested in birth control. She smokes 1.5 packs per day, and her history includes irregular menses, an earlier Pap smear result of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance with negative colposcopy results, polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity, migraine headaches with aura, bilateral carpel tunnel surgery, and a herniated L4.5 disc treated conservatively. She has no history of any psychiatric problems.
One week before intrauterine device placement, she discussed the options with her gynecologist and received a Mirena patient brochure. At the office visit for IUD placement, the patient stated she had a negative home pregnancy test 1 week earlier. She did not tell the gynecologist that she had taken Plan B One-Step emergency contraception 2 weeks prior to presenting to her gynecologist after receiving it from a Planned Parenthood office following condom breakage during coitus. IUD placement was uncomplicated.
The patients attorney filed a medical malpractice claim against the gynecologist who inserted the IUD, accusing her of negligence for not performing a pregnancy test immediately before IUD insertion.
The patients expert witness testified that the gynecologist fell below the standard of care by not obtaining a pregnancy test prior to IUD insertion.
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Are There Any Problems With Iuds
The most common side effects of the IUD include:
- irregular bleeding for the first few months
- with the copper IUD, heavier periods with more cramps
- lighter and shorter periods with some kinds of progestin IUDs
- PMS-like symptoms such as moodiness, headaches, acne, nausea, and breast tenderness with the hormonal IUD
Rare problems include:
Expulsion. An IUD can come out of the uterus by accident . Sometimes a woman doesn’t know this has happened. If an IUD comes even part of the way out, it does not protect against pregnancy. A woman can check that an IUD is still in place by feeling for the string . After someone has an IUD inserted, she’ll need to go back for a follow-up visit to check that the IUD is properly in place.
Perforation of the uterus. There’s an extremely small risk that an IUD might push through the wall of the uterus while it is being put in.
Pelvic inflammatory disease . There’s a very low risk of infection from bacteria getting into the uterus during IUD insertion. Most such infections happen in the first 20 days after placement of the IUD.
What Can I Expect After An Iud Insertion Procedure
Many people feel perfectly fine right after they get an IUD, while others need to take it easy for a while. There can be some cramping and backaches, so plan on chilling at home after your appointment its a great excuse to curl up on the couch with your favorite book or movie. Heating pads and over-the-counter pain meds can help ease cramps too.
You may have cramping and spotting after getting an IUD, but this almost always goes away within 3-6 months. Hormonal IUDs eventually make periods lighter and less crampy, and you might stop getting a period at all. On the flip side, copper IUDs may make periods heavier and cramps worse. For some people, this goes away over time. If your IUD is causing you pain, discomfort, or side effects you dont like, call your doctor.
Once you get the IUD, a string about 1 or 2 inches long will come out of your cervix and into the top of your vagina dont worry, you wont notice it. The string is there so a nurse or doctor can remove the IUD later. You can feel the string by putting your fingers in your vagina and reaching up toward your cervix. But DONT tug on the string, because you could move your IUD out of place or pull it out.
Remember when you got your IUD , so youll know when it needs to be replaced. The Paragard IUD should be replaced after 12 years. Mirena should be replaced after 7 years. Kyleena should be replaced after 5 years. Liletta should be replaced after 7 years. Skyla should be replaced after 3 years.
If You Become Pregnant While Using An Iud
The chances of becoming pregnant with an IUD, whether it’s the one dependent on hormones or the copper variety, are slim, but it can definitely be problematic. The question is, should the IUD be left in or taken out?
Leaving the IUD in the uterus during pregnancy may lead to a higher chance of miscarriage as well as premature birth. The increase is about 40% and 500%, respectively . There’s also the risk of developing a condition called chorioamnionitis, which is an infection of the amniotic fluid and the membranes surrounding the developing baby . This condition is one of the causes of premature birth. And then there’s the possible link between an IUD left in during pregnancy and placental abruption, which is when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall a serious situation that can deprive the baby of oxygen and requires emergency care .
Finally, there’s a higher chance of the pregnancy being ectopic . When the fertilized egg implants in a fallopian tube, rather than in the uterus, the pregnancy can be life-threatening.
Considering all these complications, it’s recommended that an IUD be removed as soon as possible after a pregnancy is confirmed. Keep in mind that although there’s a small risk of miscarriage being caused by removing the IUD, it’s generally lower than the risk of leaving the device in place.
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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Using An Iud After Giving Birth
An IUD can usually be fitted 4 weeks after giving birth . You’ll need to use alternative contraception from 3 weeks after the birth until the IUD is put in.
In some cases, an IUD can be fitted within 48 hours of giving birth. It’s safe to use an IUD when you’re breastfeeding, and it will not affect your milk supply.
Does An Iud Help Prevent Stds
A doctor or nurse practitioner will check to be sure a woman doesn’t have any STDs before putting in an IUD. Getting an IUD put in while she has an STD could lead to pelvic inflammatory disease .
Abstinence is the only method that always prevents pregnancy and STDs.
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Is There A Risk Of Pregnancy After Iud Removal
Every form of birth control comes with some risk, which is why you may wonder if theres a higher risk of pregnancy complications after IUD removal. The good news, says Zaher Merhi, MD, board certified OB-GYN and fertility expert at New Hope Fertility Center, is theres no increased risk of ectopic pregnancy after IUD removal.
Since IUDs prevent pregnancies in your uterus, youre more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy than a regular pregnancy. But this doesnt mean youre at a higher risk for ectopic pregnancies in general just because you have an IUD.
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
- unusual discharge or heavy bleeding coming from your vagina
- 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
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Plus Your Sexual Partner Shouldnt Be Able To Feel Your Iud Strings
Kelly-Jones said, I usually tell women: Do not tell your partner you have strings hanging from your cervix. Because as soon as you tell them that, they think, Oh my god, I can feel them. Its very unlikely that they will feel them, and if they do, usually we just trim the string a little bit and theyre fine.
You Can’t Feel The Iud Strings
Your IUD is shaped like the letter T, with thin strings at the bottom that are used to ensure that it can be removed easily when you decide you do want to get pregnant. But it can also act as a guide to show you that itâs in its proper place. Now, if you canât feel the strings, that doesnât mean that your IUD has moved it could be that theyâve curled up, Self explained. But in cases whereyour IUD has undergone expulsion or perforation, you might not be protected against pregnancy, especially if youâve had sex. If youâre unsure if your IUD is still in place, you can schedule a sonogram with your ob/gyn, who can confirm its location â and if you might be pregnant.
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How Does It Feel To Get An Iud Put In
People usually feel some cramping or pain when they’re getting their IUD placed. The pain can be worse for some, but luckily it only lasts for a minute or two.
Some doctors tell you to take pain medicine before you get the IUD to help prevent cramps. They also might inject a local numbing medicine around your cervix to make it more comfortable.
Some people feel dizzy during or right after the IUD is put in, and there’s a small chance of fainting. You might want to ask someone to come with you to the appointment so you don’t have to drive or go home alone, and to give yourself some time to relax afterward.
If You’re Under 16 Years Old
Contraception services are free and confidential, including for people under the age of 16.
If you’re under 16 and want contraception, the doctor, nurse or pharmacist will not tell your parents or carer as long as they believe you fully understand the information you’re given and the decisions you’re making.
Doctors and nurses work under strict guidelines when dealing with people under 16. They’ll encourage you to consider telling your parents, but they will not make you.
The only time a professional might want to tell someone else is if they believe you’re at risk of harm, such as abuse.
In these circumstances, the risk would need to be serious, and they’d usually discuss it with you first.
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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.
Is It Possible To Get Pregnant With A Copper Iud
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 is a miscarriage? A miscarriage happens if a pregnancy ends spontaneously before its 20th week.
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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.
Getting Contraception During Coronavirus
If you need contraception, call your GP surgery or a sexual health clinic as soon as possible. Only go in person if asked to.
It might not be possible to have an IUD fitted or replaced at the moment.
IUDs are normally used for 5 or 10 years, but can be left in for longer.
If your IUD is due to be replaced and you do not want to get pregnant, use condoms or the progestogen-only pill for now.
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Iuds Do Not Give Protection From Stis
Neither type of IUD gives protection from sexually transmissible infections . Its important to practise safer sex, as well as to prevent an unintended pregnancy. The best way to lessen the risk of STIs is to use barrier methods such as condoms for oral, vaginal and anal sex with all new sexual partners. Condoms can be used with IUDs.