If you’re not too keen on the idea of taking a birth control pill every day or even messing with a vaginal contraceptive twice every month, you can opt for an intrauterine device (IUD) to prevent pregnancy. This form of birth control is growing in popularity as women don’t have to worry about it for a few years but can still reap the benefits of effective contraception. IUD’s need to be surgically inserted to be effective. They are T-shaped devices that fit right into the uterus and stimulate an inflammatory reaction that prevents the fertilization of eggs. If you decide to have an IUD inserted, you won’t feel it at all. It is even less noticeable than a tampon or a NuvaRing. However, if the IUD is malpositioned in your uterus, you will feel noticeable discomfort or pain.

Your IUD could become malpositioned in a few ways. It should fit the shape of the uterus well, but when it becomes rotated or expelled into the abdominal cavity, it will poke you in all the wrong places. You’ll need to get the IUD removed and replaced if you so choose. A distorted uterine cavity and obesity are both known causes for malpositioned IUD’s. In some cases, you won’t know that your IUD is malpositioned for a while after it’s been inserted, and you’ll probably wonder about the risk of pregnancy.

A recent study shows that even when the IUD is not inserted correctly and is off-kilter in the pelvis, it will still provide protection against the sperm’s fertilization of the egg. While it might be flipped around or creeping up your pelvis, it will still protect you from pregnancy as if it were in the right spot.

However, the study did note that most women didn’t go through the trouble of reinserting an IUD after having it removed, and they often didn’t go on any other form of contraceptive, since IUD’s are most commonly used by women who cannot take hormones for one reason or another. So, if you need to have your IUD removed because it is malpositioned, make sure you have it reinserted immediately if you plan on having sex soon after or seek out another form of birth control that is equally as effective.

Intrauterine devices are excellent alternatives to birth control pills and contraceptive rings. Even if they become malpositioned, they’re still effective at preventing pregnancy.

Source: KP Braaten et al: Malpositioned Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices: Risk Factors, Outcomes, And Future Pregnancies. Obstetrics and Gynecology Volume 118 Issue 5 pp. 1014-1020 November 2011

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