Types of IUDs

Hazards of Being Pregnant With an IUD

October 22, 2018

IUDs (intrauterine devices)–small, flexible apparatus shaped like the letter T that get inserted into a woman’s uterus through the cervix by a physician –are one of the most effective reversible procedures of birth control available. That said, about 1 in 200 women with an IUD get pregnant each year, and the risk of getting pregnant with the IUD is highest within the first year after insertion.

As soon as it’s uncommon to become pregnant once you have an intrauterine device (IUD), if you or your loved one is in this circumstance, it’s important to understand about the dangers and complications associated with an IUD pregnancy.

What Can I Do If I’ve an IUD and Suspect Pregnancy?

If you suspect you’re pregnant with an IUD, here are three steps you should follow. Please note that it is not that uncommon to worry about pregnancy with an IUD. This is due to the fact that women experience irregular bleeding in the first couple of months after IUD insertion. That is then usually followed by shorter and lighter periods; many women stop having periods completely. 

1. Take a Pregnancy Test

If you think you are having an IUD pregnancy, the very first thing you should do is to affirm that you are or aren’t pregnant. You can take a home pregnancy test or program a blood pregnancy test with your physician.

2. Watch Your Doctor

If a woman gets pregnant, using an IUD sets her at risk for an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy where the egg implants outside of the uterus). This is why it’s very important to see your physician immediately in the event that you suspect or confirm a pregnancy with an IUD in place.

3. Have Your IUD Removed

If your doctor confirms a workable and non-ectopic pregnancy while your IUD is in place, she will probably recommend removal of your IUD.

It is important not to try and remove the IUD on your own, as it is not safe for you or your infant.

Additionally, it is important to be aware that there’s a risk of miscarriage as soon as your IUD is removed. Nevertheless, your chance of miscarriage rate increases a lot more by selecting not to remove the IUD early on in the pregnancy. 

What Are the Risks of Having an IUD Pregnancy?

There are a few reasons why your doctor will probably recommend IUD removal to your health and the health of your baby.


Again, women who are pregnant with an IUD are more likely to miscarry than women who don’t have an IUD in place when conceiving.

In fact, when a woman chooses to leave her IUD in throughout pregnancy, her miscarriage speed increases to approximately 40 percent to 50 percent. But, removing her IUD early in a pregnancy appears to reduce the risk of miscarriage. On the other hand, the risk remains higher than a woman with no IUD who gets pregnant.

Preterm Birth

Besides menopause, leaving an IUD in place throughout your pregnancy increases the probability of preterm delivery. More specifically, girls who’ve IUDs in place during their pregnancies are up to five times more likely to send their infant prematurely than women without an IUD in place.

If a woman’s IUD is eliminated early, her risk of having a preterm baby is diminished, but not to zero. 


There’s always the possibility that an illness called chorioamnionitis may happen in women who have IUDs. Chorioamnionitis–an infection of the membranes that surround the baby in addition to the fluid that bathes the infant –is a serious, even potentially life-threatening illness. Like preterm birth and miscarriage, having your IUD removed decreases this particular risk but does not completely remove it.

Placental Abruption

There might be a link between getting pregnant when having an IUD and developing placental abruption, a condition in which the placenta separates from the uterus before or during delivery.

Hormone Exposure

There are currently five kinds of IUDs available; four are hormonal (Kyleena, Liletta, Mirena, and Skyla),and one is non-hormonal (ParaGard).  If you’ve become pregnant using a hormonal IUD, your IUD is gradually releasing progestin into your uterus. If you choose to continue with your pregnancy with one of these IUDs in place, the long-term effects of the hormone on the baby are not fully known; however, there does not seem to be an increased chance of birth defects. 

Is There an Instance When an IUD Is Left In?

Obviously, like most medical conditions, there is a gray area. In other words, there are cases where a physician may recommend that a woman not possess her IUD removed.

In the long run, every girl’s situation is unique, so have a thoughtful conversation with your physician. 

A Word From Verywell

Learning about the probable risks and complications associated with an IUD pregnancy can be overwhelming and scary. However, you are taking a step in the ideal direction by doing your research and gaining awareness. Remain proactive and be open and honest when talking with your physician about the best way to handle your pregnancy.