-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Intrauterine devices,
commonly known as IUDs, do not impair women's future fertility,
according to a new study.
Researchers in Guangdong, China found that once these
contraceptive devices are removed, women have relatively high
pregnancy rates and normal pregnancy results.
The study's findings were scheduled for presentation Wednesday
in Boston at a meeting of the International Federation of Fertility
Societies and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
"Being able to exercise some control over when they reproduce is a great emancipator for women," Richard Kennedy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, said in a meeting news release. "The fact that IUD use has no long-lasting effect on subsequent ability to conceive is reassuring news."
In conducting the study, the researchers surveyed 562 women who
had an IUD removed between 2012 and 2013 because they wanted to
have a child.
The researchers found that about three-quarters of the women
were able to conceive a child after their IUD was removed. Although
the women's age and how long they used an IUD played a role, on
average it took 11 months to get pregnant.
Most of the IUDs used were copper, and pregnancy rates after IUD
removal for the copper IUDs was about 78 percent. Pregnancy rates
were about 74 percent for women who used IUDs that contained the
emergency contraceptive levonorgestrel. The researchers said this
difference was statistically insignificant.
The study also showed the rate of pelvic inflammatory disease
was about 11 percent. Although 12 women experienced ectopic
pregnancies, there was no increase in pregnancy complications or
negative results, the researchers said.
The IUD is a small, T-shaped device inserted into the
The stigma associated with IUDs is related to the Dalkon Shield,
made by the millions in the 1970s and later linked to infections,
including pelvic inflammatory disease, miscarriage, ectopic
pregnancy and some deaths. The Dalkon Shield, which had a design
flaw that carried bacteria into the uterus, is no longer on the
Data and conclusions presented at medical meetings are typically
considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides
more information on
IUDs and other forms of contraception.
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