An IUD, also known as an Intrauterine Device is a form of birth control that lasts a very long time. There are two forms of IUD, the hormonal IUD and the copper IUD.
Each form of IUD is inserted by a doctor, in a doctor’s office. As long as you do not have a pelvic infection or you are not pregnant, you are eligible to get an IUD. Most IUDS are designed to prevent pregnancy for up to five years.
Women who use an IUD have less than a 1 percent chance of becoming pregnant. However, no birth control method (except abstinence) is perfect, and sometimes pregnancy while on an IUD may occur.
If you do happen to become pregnant while you have an IUD implanted, your doctor will most likely advise you to have the IUD removed. Some women, however, choose not to have the IUD removed.
Removing the IUD immediately after finding out that a woman is pregnant is the best way to reduce the risk associated with an IUD pregnancy. Most women do choose to have the IUD removed once they find out that they are pregnant, but some women do not wish to have it removed. These women have greater risks during pregnancy.
Women who get pregnant while they have an IUD have a higher miscarriage rate than other women. Women who choose to leave the IUD in place during pregnancy will have around a 50 percent chance of miscarrying.
Women who decide to have their IUD removed shortly after finding out they are pregnant will lower their miscarriage risk to around 25 percent, but the risk is still higher than the general population, who has a miscarriage risk of around 18-20%. Please keep in mind that the process of having the IUD removed can also cause a miscarriage in some cases.
Miscarriage is not the only risk for women who get pregnant with an IUD in place. Preterm labor is also more common with women who choose to leave their IUDs in place during pregnancy rather than have them removed. There is also a greater risk of having an ectopic pregnancy if you get pregnant with an IUD in place.
The risk for ectopic pregnancy in the general population is around 2%, however, the risk of ectopic pregnancy in women who get pregnant with an IUD in place can range from as low as 6% to as high as 50%. Getting pregnant with an IUD in place also raises the risk for intrauterine infection, sepsis, and septic second-trimester fetal loss.
Finally, although rare, maternal deaths have been reported during the second trimester of pregnancy due to infection when an IUD has not been removed during the pregnancy. These are all things to be aware of and keep in mind if you happen to get pregnant while you have an IUD in place.