commonly known as IUDs, do not impair women's future fertility, according to a
Researchers in Guangdong,
China found that once these contraceptive devices are removed, women have
relatively high pregnancy rates and normal pregnancy results.
The study's findings were
scheduled for presentation in Boston at a meeting of the
International Federation of Fertility Societies and the American Society for
"Being able to
exercise some control over when they reproduce is a great emancipator for
women," Richard Kennedy, Secretary General of the International Federation
of Fertility Societies, said in a meeting news release. "The fact that IUD
use has no long-lasting effect on subsequent ability to conceive is reassuring
In conducting the study,
the researchers surveyed 562 women who had an IUD removed between 2012 and 2013
because they wanted to have a child.
The researchers found that
about three-quarters of the women were able to conceive a child after their IUD
was removed. Although the women's age and how long they used an IUD played a
role, on average it took 11 months to get pregnant.
Most of the IUDs used were
copper, and pregnancy rates after IUD removal for the copper IUDs was about
78%. Pregnancy rates were about 74% for women who used IUDs that contained the
emergency contraceptive levonorgestrel. The researchers said this difference
was statistically insignificant.
No increase in negative results
The study also showed the
rate of pelvic inflammatory disease was about 11%. Although 12 women
experienced ectopic pregnancies, there was no increase in pregnancy
complications or negative results, the researchers said.
The IUD is a small,
T-shaped device inserted into the uterus.
The stigma associated with
IUDs is related to the Dalkon Shield, made by the millions in the 1970s and
later linked to infections, including pelvic inflammatory disease, miscarriage,
ectopic pregnancy and some deaths. The Dalkon Shield, which had a design flaw
that carried bacteria into the uterus, is no longer on the market.
Data and conclusions
presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until
published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
The US Centres for Disease
Control and Prevention provides more information on IUDs and other forms of contraception.