Pregnant on a Copper IUD?
One of the most common questions that has been around for ages. Personally, one question that I have been researching about in the last few months. Just like many other woman topics, this is one topic that needs to be discussed in detail.
In most cases, the second child (or the next) is always an unplanned child, whether you use protection or not. During this research, I curated notes from many personal experiences where women have got pregnant on a Copper IUD.
Doctors say that less than 1% of women get pregnant on a Copper IUD in place. However, the percentage seems to be increasing due to various reasons.
It is true that no form of contraceptive is 100% effective, but the rate of failure of various IUD brands must be analysed. Since the risks a Copper IUD poses in a pregnancy is extremely high.
Question: Could you get Pregnant on a Copper IUD?
The simple answer is YES. On the contrary, we all know the possibility is LOW not RARE as doctors and companies suggest. Even though the argument about just 1% could get pregnant due to various reasons, the question here is,
What if you fall in that 1% category?
Photo Courtesy: Unsplash
I am not against IUD’s, but I am here to discuss the untold and unshared possibilities of the 1%. I know a lot of friends and family members who had used Copper IUD with no issues whatsoever. They have had it for 3 years, in some cases 5 years before they removed and had their second child.
My Personal Experience with Copper IUD
When I decided to place a Copper IUD, I was told it is one of the best contraceptives with minimum side-effects. I agreed and placed it with not much research from a personal front. I just met with my Gynae who delivered my first child and booked an appointment to place the IUD.
It was all done in less than 10 minutes. I was surprised at how easy it was. It caused me some pain and bleeding during the process, but I was told it was temporary. All I had to do was to get it checked once every 6 months to see that the strings were in place.
Each woman is different. My mother did not have much side-effects when she had this back in time. A few good friends also said that they hardly felt it inside them. However, my experience was entirely different.
Photo Courtesy: Google
The pain and bleeding lasted for about a week. Later, I was so sensitive that I could feel the strings all the time. I ended up having heavy periods, abdominal cramps and headache 2 days before my periods every month.
After a year, I started facing severe yeast infections which is one of the causes of IUD that I was unaware of. As if these problems were not enough, I finally got pregnant on a Copper IUD followed by a miscarriage around the 11th week.
This happened because my coil had moved position and could have caused rupture to the sac. The doctors had delayed the removal of the coil due to its complexity.
Possibilities of Getting Pregnant on a Copper IUD?
When I started researching on this topic, I read a lot and watched many personal experiences and suggestions from doctors regarding this situation. The possibilities of getting Intrauterine pregnancy on a Copper IUD are as follows:
a) For some women the IUD had already fallen out (and I don’t really know how).
b) There were cases where the IUD had moved from its position thereby causing pregnancy.
c) For some it had completely moved deep into the cervix or the uterus thereby making the pregnancy possible.
d) In very rare cases, the coil was still in place, but somehow the pregnancy has taken place.
e) In 50% of women, the pregnancy is ectopic thereby leading to immediate clearance.
The only highly successful pregnancy survival rate in the above mentioned possibilities is the first one.
The remaining 3 situations has a high possibility of miscarriage and infections. Unless treated immediately by a highly experienced gynae, these could only lead to miscarriage and trauma.
The earlier removal of the coil after confirming the IUP (Intrauterine Pregnancy) always leads to better chances of survival of the pregnancy. In most cases, miscarriage within the first trimester is better than later.
Risks of Pregnancy with a Coil
If you’re tested positive for pregnancy with a coil inside, these could be your risks. After categorizing you in the high-risk pregnancy, the Gynae might suggest removal, but will do it only if it falls within the guidelines.
a) If the coil is in a complicated position, the chances of removal are low, but the chances of miscarriage are high.
b) The possibility of the coil rupturing the sac thereby leading to miscarriage is again high.
c) The chances of getting an infection in the uterus due to the coil can lead to miscarriage.
d) The chances of losing the baby in the second trimester due to infections and complications are high.
e) The chances of giving birth to a pre-term baby i.e. between 24 weeks – 28 weeks are high. If you have delivered a pre-term baby, the rate of survival of the baby is critically low.
f) Even if you’ve moved two trimesters with little problems (which is unlikely), the chances of an infection with a coil inside is exponentially high.
g) From the beginning of the pregnancy to the removal of the coil or the birth of baby, whichever comes first, the pregnancy is declared to be high-risk.
h) The stress, the confusions, the infections, the number of visits to the doctor, the possibility of intimacy everything will be overwhelming during such pregnancy.
3 Ways to Avoid Getting Pregnant on an IUD
Though the possibility is less, there are always exceptions. So, it is better to get a few checks done even with a 99% accurate IUD in place.
- As we know no form of contraception is 100% effective, it is wise to use an extra protection (eg. condom) even with a coil.
- Check the strings of your coil every now and then if you must to know it is in place.
- Check the strings of your coil once every 6 months with your OBGYN. This is to know if its in the right position and that it has not fallen out or moved.
Is Successful Pregnancy possible with a Coil?
When the worst happens for many, there is also always a miracle happening to a few in some situations. Even though the success rate in a pregnancy like this is extremely LOW, there are stories that can give you some peace if you’re in this tough situation.
This is one of 2 stories that I read that made me feel, if it’s meant to be, it will be.
I heard from some people about a story where the baby was holding the coil thereby preventing miscarriage. There is a possibility of the coil getting placed in the placenta, this was suggested by one of the doctors who treated me. However, there’s no one who has told me they’ve delivered a baby with a coil inside them.
The photos of babies with a coil is a nice way to welcome the child into the world. Otherwise, things don’t work like that. The coil is either placed in the placenta or comes out during delivery.
What’s your experience with a coil? Was it good or bad? Would you suggest placing a coil as a contraceptive?