5 risks involved with IUD-
- The serious risks of using an intrauterine device (IUD) is accidental perforation of the uterus which usually occurs during insertion. Normally, the doctor will measure the length of the uterus with an internal sound before the insertion. The device should not be inserted if the uterus is less than 6 ins in length. Perforation is very rare and the chances of it are less than 0.1%.
- Once inserted safely, excessive menstrual bleeding may happen to those who opt for a copper IUD. Menstrual cramps also increase and there may be some spotting in between the periods. It may resolve after a few months. At times, the excessive menstrual bleeding may necessitate the removal of the IUD.
- The hormonal IUD, on the other hand, can reduce the bleeding almost to nil sometimes. They also reduce cramps. However, it may cause development of ovarian cysts. These are harmless as they are non-cancerous. The IUD can cause other side effects such as breast tenderness, mood swings, headaches and acne. These usually disappear after a few months as the body gets used to the hormones.
After insertion, sometimes, the IUD slips out of the uterus on its own. This may happen if the cervix is loose especially after delivery and abortion. Check your sanitary pads in case expulsion occurs along with the menstrual blood. Spontaneous expulsion normally occurs in the first few months after insertion only.
If the IUD remains in place but somehow you get pregnant, then IUD cannot be stay inside. It would have to be removed to prevent any miscarriage or early labor. The device will not cause any damage to the baby or any birth defects.
Signs to watch out for-
- If you develop severe bleeding, enough to make you change your pad every 2 hours, especially if you have severe cramps in your lower abdomen you must seek medical care as the IUD might need to be removed.
- In case, you fear that you might have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease or if you develop an infection with fever, chills and rigors, a foul smelling or other colored vaginal discharge you must seek appropriate treatment.
3. If you think your device might have slipped out, that is when you cannot feel the strings, you will need to see your doctor for a reinsertion. If the device is on the verge of slipping out the strings will feel longer.
4. If you think you might be pregnant then a simple urine test will either confirm or deny it. If you are pregnant the device would be removed. In such a pregnancy the risk of an ectopic pregnancy is higher. If ectopic pregnancy is confirmed it would have to be terminated. It might involving the removal of a Fallopian tube as well.
IUDs are safe for women with a history of ectopic pregnancy. Women who have irregular menstrual bleeding and pain or can safely opt for hormonal IUD. IUDs are also safe for women with diabetes, hypertension, endometriosis, and those who are breast feeding.
An IUD by itself doesn't cause an infection. If you already had an infection it could spread with IUD use. However, your doctor will have made sure that there was no infection before carrying out the insertion.
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