As a birth control method, the intrauterine device (IUD) has lots of advantages. To begin with, once added, it could last for several decades. Additionally, it is reversible: When you’re ready to start a family, your doctor can remove it.
The IUD is also associated with few problems, but one which really does occasionally arise is what might appear to be”missing strings”–meaning that you can not see the string that’s attached to the IUD (sort of like a tampon).
Normally, this just means that the strings have drawn back into the cervical canal or uterus and can be easily swept back into view by your doctor during a rectal examination using a device called a cervical cytology brush.
In very rare instances, however, IUD strings seem to disappear for other reasons. One of these is pregnancy. The IUD is extremely effective, but not ideal. Another is uterine perforation, which can be when a hole forms in the uterus.
Ultimately, missing IUD strings literally might be lost, if the whole apparatus comes from the uterus–what is known as IUD expulsion. This puts you in danger of becoming pregnant, needless to say. More significant, since the loss of an IUD does not cause symptoms, checking to be sure that the strings are still there’s a vital component of using an IUD.
How to Look at Your IUD Strings
An IUD is a small, plastic device shaped like a T that’s either wrapped in aluminum (by way of example, ParaGard) or includes the hormone progestin (by way of instance, Mirena).
When your doctor inserts the IUD, the plastic device will be left within the uterus, however the cords of the IUD (which are made from plastic threads) will fall from the cervix, end up high from the vaginal canal.
When assessing your IUD strings, first wash your hands. Then while sitting or squatting, insert your index or middle finger into your vagina until you touch the cervix, which will feel firm and rubbery, such as the tip of your nose.
Wait for the IUD string ends that should be coming through your cervix. Should you feel the strings, then your IUD is in place and needs to be working.
When the strings feel longer or shorter than the last time you checked themor if you feel the hard part of the IUD against your cervix, your IUD might have transferred. In this example, it is going to need to be put back in position by your doctor. Do not try and push the IUD straight yourself. Also, never pull on your IUD strings–this may make it move from place or perhaps come out.
If you’re concerned your IUD has moved, use a backup birth control method until you can get see your physician. She may have you take a pregnancy test if you have not already. If your doctor can’t locate the strings through a pelvic exam, she may order imaging tests like a pelvic ultrasound to confirm the location of the IUD (assuming it has not been expelled).
How Often Can I Check for My IUD Strings?
If your IUD will go from place, it will most likely occur in the first couple of months after it has been inserted or throughout your period. Typically, it’s Ideal to test your IUD strings a few times a week for the first few weeks after you get your IUD
You then need to check to your strings once per month, between intervals.
Since there’s a larger chance that your IUD can slide out during your time, assess your pads or tampons simply to make sure your IUD hasn’t come out.
Important IUD Considerations
- In case your IUD gets partially expelled, you have to schedule an appointment to get it removed. Don’t remove it yourself.
- Most unplanned pregnancies happen to IUD users when it slides out without them realizing it. Though the prospect of pregnancy while an IUD is in place is very reduced, if it does occur, you should have the IUD removed as soon as you’re conscious that you’re pregnant.
- Women who choose to be pregnant with an IUD in place should have close medical supervision throughout their pregnancy since there’s an increased risk of pelvic infection, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, premature labour, and delivery.
- You might decide to have the IUD strings cut shorter if they may be felt by your sexual partner. Keep in mind that occasionally the IUD strings are cut so short that you may not be able to really check for them. Be sure that you have regular IUD checkups at the same time as your periodic gynecological exam.
- Some women mistakenly feel they need to have their IUD removed if they change sexual partners. This is a fantasy. Your IUD will keep working just as effectively, regardless of how many sexual partners you have.