Heavy period flow can pop that IUD out of your uterus. Know what to do if that happens
Whaaaat! Is it for real? Can an IUD aka intrauterine device really fall? It is most likely that these are the set of questions that will come to your mind after reading the headline. And hand on our heart, it is absolutely TRUE!
But how come an insertion that is done deep in the uterus falls out like this? Well, there can be two reasons – one is improper insertion where there are chances of the IUD getting displaced or completely falling out.
And secondly, heavy periods. If you experience a heavy flow, it may result in blood clots. These clots tend to push out the IUD, and then it falls out. Therefore, the risk of an IUD falling out during your periods is more than usual.
But don’t judge this contraceptive too fast before you learn more about it. Also, don’t panic. Dr Suhasini Inamdar, consultant obstetrician & gynaecologist from Motherhood Hospitals, Bengaluru, who will share a guide to help you in case your IUD falls.
How can an inserted IUD fall?
If inserted properly, the chances of an IUD falling out are very low. In the past, the IUD was inserted into several women in family planning camps. Here the chances of improper insertion were high as the procedure was done by paramedics on many women in bulk. Therefore, there were instances of the IUD falling out.
But now, such cases rarely occur as proper procedures and safety precautions are being taken by doctors. Plus, the design of the Copper-T has also evolved, and now it has a curved top end with tiny serrations which help to keep it in the proper place in the uterus.
“However, there may be instances where the IUD gets displaced or falls off. Then you will need to consult your doctor, says Dr Inamdar.
Here’s how to check if the IUD is still there or not
“Your doctor usually will call you for an examination to check the placement of the IUD. You can also do a self-examination by checking the strings of the IUD, each month after your period, to ensure that it is still there. If the strings seem shorter or longer than usual, it may indicate that the IUD has been displaced. If you cannot feel the strings at all, then it may have fallen out without you realizing,” suggests Dr Inamdar.
You may feel certain symptoms if the IUD has been dislodged or completely expelled like cramps, pain, or discomfort. You should immediately consult your doctor in such cases
What to do if the IUD has fallen out?
If you suspect or know that the IUD has fallen out, you need to visit your doctor. Do not attempt to push it back yourself. Visit your obstetrician and gynaecologist to put it in place.
“In case you are not sure whether it has fallen out, the doctor will conduct an ultrasound examination or an X-ray if needed, to see the placement of the IUD, to notice whether it has shifted above or below from its proper place inside the uterus. When the IUD gets pushed up, it may go outside the uterine wall into the abdominal cavity,” says Dr Inamdar.
After the scans and tests, if it is found that the IUD is missing, the doctor will replace it. If its alignment is improper, it will be removed and then replaced.
What are IUDs?
IUDs are one of the most popular forms of birth control. These are used by many women as they are quite safe and effective. An IUD is a T-shaped device, which is a little over an inch and has a string attached to it. The Intrauterine device is inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix. This will be done by your doctor and is an outpatient procedure that does not require much time.
Types of IUDs and how do they work?
“There are two types of IUDs available. One is Copper-T, which as the name suggests is copper-based and the other is hormone-based IUD,” tells Dr Inamdar.
Copper-T is the IUD that releases copper ions into the uterine area. The copper ions make the environment inhospitable for the sperm and thus prevent fertilization of the egg.
The hormone-based IUD is also known as the medicated IUD. This releases the hormone progestin. The hormone thickens the mucus in the cervix, which makes it impossible for the sperm to meet with the egg, and thus fertilization is prevented.
So ladies, if you self-examine down there and don’t feel the IUD then seek help without fail.