Intrauterine devices (IUDs), are an effective method of birth control. Hormonal and copper IUDs are the two kinds available in the United States. Hormonal IUDs can remain in place for five years. Copper IUDs can be inserted for 10 years. Though pregnancy with an IUD is rare (less than one percent), it does happen. Knowing the early signs of pregnancy will help you make the best decisions about your IUD and fetus.
Signs of Pregnancy
Take a pregnancy test if experience any signs of pregnancy. The signs of pregnancy with an IUD are the same as the signs if you are using any other method of birth control. Delayed menstruation, nausea, fatigue, tender breasts, morning sickness and backaches might all be early signs of pregnancy. If the pregnancy test is positive, make an appointment with your doctor to take a blood test right away. Be certain to tell your doctor that you have an IUD implanted.
You and your doctor will need to make a decision regarding removal of the IUD. Particular complications may arise with a pregnancy if your IUD is still inserted. In rare cases, the IUD will be left in place, but this will result in an increased risk of miscarriage and preterm birth. The most common complication of an inserted IUD and pregnancy is a ectopic pregnancy. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fetus implants somewhere besides the uterus, typically in the fallopian tubes, and can result in miscarriage. More commonly, your doctor will remove the IUD. If the IUD is removed soon after conception, pregnancy complications often decrease.
Pregnancy vs. Other Complications
You may experience IUD complications that could cause you to wonder if you are pregnant when in fact you are not. If you can feel the IUD in your cervix or vagina, this could cause discomfort and pain. See your doctor to have it removed and reinserted properly. IUDs can also cause unusual vaginal discharge, abdominal pain and pain during sex. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor to discuss whether or not your IUD is working effectively and whether another form of birth control might work better for you.