Controlling when and whether to start or add to a family is an important part of a woman’s healthcare. There are many different options for prevention that range from temporary or long-lasting and reversible or permanent. These birth control methods include a multitude of variations of devices, medications, sexual behaviors, and surgical options all intended to prevent conception. For this reason, it’s important to understand the signs your IUD is out of place.
How Well Do IUDs Work?
Both men and women can use these methods to avoid pregnancy. Some techniques are more trustworthy than others. The dependability of a method often results from how faithfully and reliably people use them.
When it comes to birth control, how successful are IUDs? Many doctors hold IUDs as one of the most successful birth control techniques available. According to Planned Parenthood, the success rate of the IUD is more than 99%. That means that only about 1 in every 100 women who use an IUD will become pregnant each year.
Are IUDs Safe?
However, certain brands of IUD have a tendency to cause, sometimes serious or fertility destroying, injury to women. The Houston defective medical device attorneys of Reich & Binstock helps women who’ve experienced an IUD injury after signs your IUD is out of place. Call our office today at 713-622-7271 to see if you have a case.
What is an IUD?
So what is an IUD? A long-acting contraception, Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are the most common method in the world. Nearly as effective as surgical sterilization, IUDs offer a noninvasive method of preventing pregnancy. According to the National Institutes of Health, global use of IUDs among reproductive-aged women is 14.3%. Use among women in the U.S. is 6.5%.
The IUD is a T-shaped plastic frame that a doctor inserts into the uterus. To prevent pregnancy, hormonal IUDs distribute a kind of progestin, while a copper IUD causes an inflammatory reaction that kills sperm and eggs.
Two types of IUDs are available for use:
The copper released by a copper IUD functions as a spermicide. It has a ten-year lifespan.
Hormonal IUDs usually contain Progestin. It thickens the cervical mucus and thins the uterus wall, preventing sperm from accessing and fertilizing the egg. It stays in place for as long as you don’t want to get pregnant. And it can last 3, 5, or 10 years, depending on the type.
Can’t Feel the IUD Strings
There are a couple of strings connected to your IUD. We recommend that you get familiar with them. They’re similar to fishing line or a lightweight plastic thread in terms of thickness and lightness. About two inches long, they hang down into the vaginal canal from the uterus. A physician trims the strings to customize the length to the patient’s body.
Checking the strings on a regular basis is one of the best signs your IUD is out of place. Do it once a month, at the end of your menstrual period or if you get unusual cramps.
Is Your IUD Out of Place? How To Check IUD Strings
IUDs that migrate out of place are most likely to do so within the first few months following insertion or during a menstrual cycle.
Between periods, make it a habit to look for signs your IUD is out of place. Check your strings once a month. If they feel the same every month, your IUD is most likely in place. Signs your IUD is out of place include strings that moved or changed length.
To make sure your IUD is still in the right spot, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands.
- Insert your index or middle finger into your vagina until you contact the cervix. This will be easiest to do while sitting or squatting. Like the tip of your nose, your cervix will feel stiff and rubbery.
- You should be able to feel the IUD strings entering through your cervix. Your IUD is likely doing its job if you can feel the strings in the right place.
- If the strings feel longer or shorter than they did the last time you checked them, or if you can feel the hard section of the IUD against your cervix, your IUD may have shifted. You’ll need your healthcare professional to put it back in place in this scenario.
- Use a backup birth control method until you see your healthcare practitioner if you’re concerned that your IUD has moved. You may be asked to take a pregnancy test. If the strings can’t be found during a pelvic exam, a pelvic ultrasound is used to locate it if the IUD hasn’t been ejected.
The chance of your IUD slipping out is greater during your period, so check your pads or tampons to make sure it hasn’t fallen out.
Signs Your IUD Is Out of Place
Discomfort or pain is not normal when you are using birth control. Consult your nurse or doctor if you are experiencing extensive bleeding or pain. They may need to double-check that your IUD is in the appropriate position. They may also suggest that you try an alternative type of birth control.
If you observe any of the following signs your IUD is out of place, call your doctor and use a backup method of birth control:
- The strings could be up inside your uterus if you can’t find them.
- The IUD may have shifted if the strings are shorter or longer than before. It’s easier to spot changes if you check your strings on a regular basis.
- Only the strings should be felt when your IUD is in the proper position. The hard, plastic portion of the IUD should not stick out.
- You and your partner should not be aware of the IUD once it is in place. The strings are noticeable, but the plastic is not. If your partner feels the hard, plastic of the IUD while you’re having sex, it’s possible it’s moved.
- It may be out of position if you have pain that worsens or does not go away within 3 to 6 months after placing the IUD.
- Spotting and bleeding are common after getting an IUD, but unusual or excessive bleeding could indicate it’s in the wrong place or that it’s perforated the uterine wall.
- You’re experiencing severe cramping, unusual discharge, or a fever. Other indicators that your IUD has shifted include the following. They could potentially indicate the presence of an infection. Find out what’s causing these symptoms by speaking with your doctor.
- Severe cramping, abnormal discharge, or fever are additional signs that your IUD moved. These may also be signs of an infection. Have a chat with your physician to determine what’s causing your symptoms.
Keep in mind though, it is possible for a woman to notice no symptoms when an IUD slips out of place. Regularly checking your strings helps you figure out if it’s in a different place.
Can You Get Hurt if Your IUD is Out of Place?
Although rare, an out-of-place IUD can cause big problems. Bleeding and issues with blood flow to your organs occur if your IUD cuts your uterus near critical blood arteries. Localized inflammatory reactions, infertility, bowel adhesions, or bowel perforations are also possible if it cuts your uterus and moves into your abdominal cavity.
Surgical removal is necessary in extreme cases. Surgical repairs and sometimes removal of the uterus may be needed. If you are hurt by an IUD that moved, a Houston defective medical devices attorney can help you get fair compensation for your injuries.
What to Do if You Think Your IUD Is Out of Place
Call your doctor immediately if you have signs your IUD is out of place. If you’re sexually active, use your back up birth control method to avoid a pregnancy. Wait to have sex until you see your doctor if you’re in pain. Emergency contraception may be needed if you’ve had sex recently.
Serious harm or infection can happen if you try to push your IUD back into place or remove it yourself. This can also make the IUD less effective. If you’re worried that the IUD is not in the right place, use a backup birth control method until your doctor says it’s okay to go without.
Experienced Houston IUD Injury Lawyers
Have you been hurt by an IUD birth control device? Were you denied medical help after signs your IUD is out of place? Please call our Houston personal injury attorneys for a free and private consultation regarding your legal options at 713-622-7271 or fill out our contact form below. We represent clients nationwide who have been injured by defective methods of birth control, such as IUDs, and those who have sustained injuries, from our Houston office.
Our law office is dedicated to obtaining the best possible settlement for you. Our free case evaluation assesses whether you have a good case. We don’t accept any payment unless we secure a recovery.