How I Got Pregnant…with a Copper IUD (“IUD”)!

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When this reader opted for a copper IUD (“IUD”) as a contraceptive, she had no idea it was possible for it to move and therefore become ineffective… Three times.

I’m 27 and a year and a half ago I asked myself this question for the first time:

Is the pill really the best birth control method for me? »

My change of birth control

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After getting information from multiple sources, reading all kinds of testimonials, and giving myself a moment to think, I decided todiscontinue hormonal contraception. After 13 years on the pill, I wanted to get to know my body in a way that felt more “natural” to me.

So I went to my gynecologist with the firm intention of switch to the intrauterine device, also known as a copper IUD (“IUD”). The implant went very well, then the doctor gave me a small document indicating the current date and the date of the sampling, without giving me any further information.

“That’s it, no need to think about the pill every night, I’m free for 5 years!” »

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At least that’s what I thought…

And then, a year later, one day I realized my period was late. I didn’t worry about it right away, the irregularity was quite frequent during my cycles. But two days later, I also started feeling nauseous.

So I asked my boyfriend to get a pharmacy pregnancy test. I locked myself in the bathroom, waited for the result… positive! How could this be possible?

I made another one. Still positive.

I was on an IUD and pregnant

Right now, we are in the middle of the weekend. Everything is closed and I’m starting to panic. I ask myself: I’m 27 years old, with money, an apartment, a job… I “might” have this child. But I don’t want it! And that’s why I take birth control! What could have gone wrong?

On Monday morning, I make an emergency appointment with a doctor I don’t know. He is very kind and understanding, but when I tell him I’m pregnant with a copper IUD, he starts to freak out. He advises me to go to the emergency room immediately, without prescribing blood tests or other tests.

She explains to me that it is definitely an ectopic pregnancy due to the IUD and that one should not drag it out. I call my boyfriend, in tears, and head to the emergency room, even more panicked than the day before.

The gynecologist who sees me is shocked when I tell her the reaction of the doctor I saw earlier. According to her, an IUD pregnancy is not necessarily ectopic and the doctor had no reason to scare me so much! She gives me an ultrasound to find out my IUD is positioned very low: it is therefore inactive. So he takes it away from me.

She also informs me that I am 4 weeks pregnant. Can I carry this pregnancy to term or start an abortion procedure.

After my miscarriage, I go back to the copper IUD

I allow myself four days of reflection, then I make an appointment with a family counseling where they explain the procedures for abortion. I make the decision to use a Medical abortion.

It is a tablet to be taken that causes contractions and expels the egg; I spend a horrible, very painful day hunched over on the sofa, moaning against my hot water bottle.

After the abortion, I go to my doctor again for checkup. He sees that everything is fine and suggests that I insert a copper IUD. I ask her if what happened to me could happen again and she replies that it would be really great. We then proceed to a new pose.

When he checks with an ultrasound where the object is, strange… It was still very low, and therefore would not be active!

He then decides to give me a 3D ultrasound, explaining that some uteruses are heart shaped and not conducive to the IUD. Not my case: during this exam, everything seems “normal”, and nothing contraindicates this contraception.

A third IUD installation and a third failure

So he gives me another appointment to insert the IUD, but this time with two doctors : one to position the device and the other to simultaneously check, using ultrasound, that it is positioned correctly. I let you imagine the situation, which was far from being a walk in the park…

Once the IUD is inserted, we plan to meet again in 6 weeks to check that all is well. As a precaution, and with some suspicion, I ask him if I too can take the pill in this period just to make sure I don’t get pregnant again: abortion is an experience I don’t want to repeat. She accepts.

The day after the pose I start to feel pains that feel like contractions. So far so normal: it is a frequent reaction of the uterus after being stimulated by the insertion of a copper IUD. But the pain continuesuntil a week later I found myself doubled over again.

I decide to go back to my gynecologist, telling me that she will eventually give me a weekly pass!

Surprise… The IUD was down again, and then inactive again. The third time was too much : I asked for this piece of copper to be removed forever!

I was exhausted with these complications and frustrated that I hadn’t been made aware of this possibility. I have the impression that much information is not accessible to young women and I deplore this situation which forces us to use contraceptives that we do not fully understand.

To each body its contraception

After these events, my relationship with my body completely changed. It’s strange, but I felt betrayed by this, a bit like he did what he wanted without asking my opinion. Having received no explanation as to the reasons for this refusal, I made my response and told myself my body didn’t want the IUD!

This is the lesson I draw from this whole story: every body is different and one contraception is no better than another. The best is the one that suits you the mostto you and not to another.

Today I’m on hormones again, partly for lack of another solution. I’m very airheaded, so I opted for an implant.

Maybe I’ll inquire again, later, looking for other solutions. But for now this “adventure” has put me to the test and I prefer to postpone until tomorrow! Fingers crossed that at that point a researcher comes up with the idea of ​​fantastic contraception, or democratizes so-called “male” means of contraception. Because after all, during the sexual act, there are two of us!

Julie Illegems is a midwife and accompanies her patients on their contraceptive journey. In uncovering this reader’s story, she points out that even though IUDs do happen to move after they’re installed, it’s a very rare phenomenon. While it’s important to know that this possibility exists, we shouldn’t be afraid of it.

She explains that in the collective imagination it is much more difficult to accept an unplanned pregnancy on the IUD than on the pill. Nevertheless, no contraceptive is 100% effective.. It is a reality that must be kept in mind, without being afraid of it.

In these circumstances, the IUD remains one of the most effective means of contraception: during the first year of use, an average of 8% of pregnancies under the pill is recorded against 0.8% of pregnancies under the copper IUD.

The expert also insists on having the position of your IUD checked once a year, with your doctor checking your contraception:

Many people assume that the installation of an IUD allows them to have “peace of mind” for 5 years and does not require follow-up during this period. But it’s wrong: it is important to have your IUD checked once a yearat least to verify that it is still in place.

He remembers itit is also possible to self-examine. This practice, which relies on regular vaginal self-exams, allows patients to pinpoint the usual position of their IUD strings and thus identify potential movement or changes.

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