Intrauterine Devices (IUD) and Pregnancy

Posted On: May 24, 2016 By Nathan D. Fox, MD

Intrauterine Devices

IUD

An Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a small contraceptive device, often “T” shaped, which is inserted into the uterus. An Intrauterine Device is one form of long-acting reversible contraception, and is the most effective type of reversible birth control.

The likelihood of pregnancy with an IUD is less than 1%.  However, if a woman with an IUD does become pregnant, there is an approximately 50% likelihood of it being an ectopic pregnancy, or a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus, such as in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable pregnancies and if left untreated, it can pose a great risk including internal bleeding.

For women with an Intrauterine Device who have an intrauterine pregnancy, there is an increased risk of miscarriage (40 to 50%). When the IUD is removed, the loss rate appears to be lower. Therefore, if the IUD can be removed, it is usually removed in the first or second trimester of pregnancy. If the IUD cannot be removed, the pregnancy is followed expectantly. Importantly, there does not appear to be an increased risk of congenital anomalies (birth defects) in the setting of an IUD.

If you have an Intrauterine Device in place and are planning on pregnancy, it can be removed easily in the office.  If you have an IUD and think you may be pregnant, you should see your doctor immediately.

GENETIC COUNSELING

Carnegie Imaging for Women has relationships with world-renowned geneticists, neonatologists and other medical professionals that are always available for consultation in medically complex cases. A Genetic Counselor (GC) is a health care professional with a master’s degree in human genetics and counseling. This training enables GCs to discuss technical genetic information in practical, useful terms.

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Carnegie Imaging for Women blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!

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