Types of IUDs

What to Do In Case Your IUD Strings Seem to Be Missing

October 14, 2018

IUDs (intrauterine devices) are becoming more popular than ever before. IUDs like Mirena and ParaGard are one of the most highly effective of all available contraception (with equivalent potency to a vasectomy, and in some cases, even greater efficacy than a tubal ligation). 

The”strings” have been attached to the IUD, run down the uterus and outside the cervix, locating their final resting position somewhere high up in the vaginal canal.

The IUD strings allow the patient know whether her IUD remains in place. Though not common, IUD expulsion (when the system becomes dislodged from the uterus) is possible and may happen in 3 to 10% of patients. 

Risk Factors for IUD Expulsion

Some of the risk factors for IUD expulsion contain:

  • Nulliparity (if you have never given birth)
  • Menorrhagia
  • Severe dysmenorrhea
  • Prior IUD expulsion
  • Under 20 Decades of age
  • IUD insertion happens immediately following a second-trimester abortion or If You’re postpartum

Since many girls may show no signs of IUD expulsion, it’s necessary that you learn to look at your IUD strings since this might be the only way to tell for certain if your IUD has dislodged or has transferred out of place.

When you first have your IUD inserted, you need to be checking for the strings every few days for the first couple of weeks, as well as between intervals. If the IUD or the IUD strings are not visible (or can not be sensed ), full expulsion might have occurred.

If this happens, and you do not have a backup method of birth control, then you’re no longer being protected against pregnancy.

Why Can’t I Feel My IUD Strings? Can I Be Worried?

If you can’t locate your strings, then the next step is to telephone your doctor and have him/her perform a test to locate your IUD strings.

Some of the very straightforward reasons for overlooking IUD strings: The IUD has come from the uterus, or the IUD is now perforated during insertion. This usually means that the IUD has been pushed through the uterus wall. Generally, that is rapidly discovered and can be corrected right away. If both of these situations occurs to you, be sure that you use a backup method to protect against pregnancy because the IUD won’t be of much help.

Another scenario which can lead to the IUD strings to be pulled up into the uterine cavity is if you are experiencing some type of enlargement/swelling on your uterus. This may be due to a pregnancy. If this has taken place, the IUD is still in the uterus, however, further investigation will be needed. So, most doctors would attempt to locate the IUD or rule out pregnancy by using an ultrasound.

  • The fantastic news is if the ultrasound demonstrates that the IUD is in its proper position (inside the uterus), it is possible to still continue to use it for contraception even though you cannot find the IUD strings. If you’re in this situation, doctors recommend that you have an ultrasound annually for the first couple of years (if you are more at risk for expulsion), simply to make sure your IUD remains there.

    There’s also the possibility that the IUD remains in the correct position, however for whatever reason, the IUD strings have flexed and invisibly back into the passageway between your cervix and your uterus (known as the endocervical canal). The strings could have also broken off.

    Additionally, it is possible that the IUD may have rotated either during or after insertion. This turning around could cause the IUD strings to retract up higher on your physique. If that is true, the fantastic thing is that the IUD is still functioning and is set up; the issue is just with all the IUD strings.

    How Your IUD May Be Located and Recovered

    Provided that it is determined that you are not pregnant, physicians have several ways to try and recover your own IUD strings.

    Doctors will use a unique brush called a cytobrush (that resembles a lengthy mascara brush) to try to maneuver out the IUD strings). This normally works, however if efforts are unsuccessful, doctors may use many tools to dilate (open) the cervix, measure your uterus, and obtain a precise view of the endocervical canal. Doctors can then determine if the IUD may be in the process of expulsion. If this is true, the IUD strings have a tendency to be visible. But, to complicate matters, the strings may become twisted and from view. If it has been ascertained that the IUD has been partially squeezed into the cervix, the doctors will normally remove the IUD and can replace it with a new one on the spot, if you’d like.

    At last, if each of these efforts fail to locate the IUD, (out of untwisting the IUD strings to ultrasound), physicians may conduct X-rays of your abdomen and pelvis. If your IUD doesn’t show up on the x ray picture, expulsion can be confirmed. At this time, you can also get a new IUD inserted if you wish. If your x-ray reveals the IUD is located outside the uterus, perforation has occurred. This would need to be corrected as soon as possible before possible damage occurs to adjacent areas.

    The only other means to detect IUD expulsion is if you actually experienced your IUD coming outside. This will normally occur during the first month or two of IUD use. Your IUD is the most likely to slide out of place during your period, so check your pads and tampons to confirm that your IUD has not yet been expelled.