Conception During IUD Use Increases Risk for Baby
January 10, 2018
U.S. News & World Report – Millions of women use an IUD (intrauterine contraceptive device) as a safe, reliable means of birth control. But a new study conducted by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev finds that in rare cases where conception occurs despite IUD use, the rate of obstetric complications may rise.
“Because of the elevated risks of severe, adverse short-term perinatal complications, we recommend careful monitoring of any women who conceive while using an IUD,” says Dr. Gali Pariente, the study’s lead researcher and faculty member of the BGU Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, BGU Faculty of Health Sciences and a clinical instructor at Soroka University Medical Center.
Dr. Pariente’s group tracked pregnancy outcomes for almost 222,000 women who delivered babies from 1991 to 2014.
Some women became pregnant despite the use of an IUD. There were 203 women who had an IUD removed early in the pregnancy and 149 who retained the IUD throughout the pregnancy.
According to the study, rates of a number of pregnancy complications were higher for women who conceived while using an IUD. These complications included preterm delivery (about 14 percent of women who used an IUD versus just under seven percent of those who had not); bacterial infection (five percent vs. 0.6 percent); low birth weight babies (11.3 percent vs. 6.6 percent), and miscarriage (two percent vs. 0.5 percent).
“We believe this is the first report tracking children born to mothers using an IUD over a long time frame,” says Dr. Pariente.
IUDs are the most popular form of reversible birth control worldwide, and the preferred method for 23 percent of women who use contraception, according to a 2015 United Nations report.
Two obstetrics experts in the United States said the study offers women valuable information, but they stressed that IUDs remain a safe form of contraception.
In rare instances, an IUD can fail because its position shifts in the uterus, the device is expelled by the body or if the IUD simply becomes too old.
The study was presented January 9 at a Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine meeting in Dallas, Texas.