Pregnant with IUD: Symptoms, Risks, Termination, and More

pregnant with IUD

This article will throw light on the symptoms, complications, precautions, alternatives, termination, and more when you get pregnant with IUD.


How many times have you gone to sleep at night with a desire for peace and calm, only to wake up in the morning and have a pregnancy scare? While it is not an everyday incident, pregnancy scares are taxing, both mentally and physically.

Follow below as we explain how sometimes birth control, specifically IUDs, can fail and how it is possible to get pregnant even with an IUD.

What are IUDs?

IUDs (Intrauterine Device) are an option for birth control. They are not compatible for all, but they have advanced and developed, resulting in a much safer and cost optimum measure for most women in the present day and time.

IUDs are equipped inside your uterus to prevent the sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg. Although, notably, no birth control method provides a 100% shield to pregnancy, with an exception to the surgical process.

So yes, you can get pregnant even with an IUD in your body, given the chances are less than 1%.

There are different kinds of IUDs: hormonal, non-hormonal, and copper, with a more or less similar failure rate.

Reasons for Failure

IUDs are more than 99 percent effective, which means less than 1 out of every person who got an IUD has a chance of getting pregnant.

It could happen due to a variety of reasons. To name some:

  • The IUD might have slipped out of the uterus-partially or completely. You may not even realize it a lot of times.
  • You can get pregnant if the IUD has not started to work.
  • Copper IUDs start working instantly, although it could take some time for hormonal IUDs to grow into an effective state. Having intercourse during this waiting period can result in pregnancy.
  • It can also fail if the IUD is used for a duration longer than what the doctor advises.

Uses of IUDs

While they have side effects, which all birth control measures have to some extent, they also come with plenty of uses:

  • Lasts long
  • Hassle-free, as once inserted, you do not have to worry anymore
  • Safer to use while breastfeeding

Most women can use an IUD, although more suited to women with one partner and those at a lower risk of STDs. IUDs do not protect against STDs. Hence you cannot use an IUD in the following cases:

  • In case you have an STD or recent pelvic infection
  • You are pregnant
  • You have cervix or uterus cancer
  • In the event of unexplainable vaginal bleeding
  • For copper IUD, if you have an allergy to copper or Wilson’s disease that causes the body to hold too much copper
  • For hormonal IUDs in case, you have liver disease or high risk for breast cancer

Symptoms/Side Effects

If the pregnancy develops inside the uterus, you will notice typical pregnancy symptoms:

  • Missed periods
  • Nausea, vomiting are possible
  • Enlarged and sore breasts
  • Tired feeling
  • Mild cramps
  • Light cramps

IUD may result in an ectopic pregnancy, which means that the fertilized egg got implanted at a place other than the uterus. It can be fatal because the egg cannot grow properly anywhere other than the uterus.

Some common symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include:

  • Acute pain in the abdomen, pelvis, shoulder, or neck
  • Sharp pain on one side of the stomach
  • Vaginal spotting/bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Rectal pressure


IUDs are an artificial method developed for better healthcare, and but obviously, everything that is not natural comes with risks involved, for example:

  • · IUD pregnancies are more likely to be ectopic, which means occurring outside of the uterus. They can also sometimes form in the fallopian tubes. If not removed, it could result in their bursting, which can be malignant for life.
  • An ectopic pregnancy in the cervix is unlikely to proceed without endangering your entire health.
  • Miscarriage can take place if termination of pregnancy doesn’t happen within the first 20 weeks.
  • Premature delivery, that is, inducement of labour before the 37th week of pregnancy.
  • The premature rupturing of membranes, also called the amniotic sac. This sac holds the baby before the outset of labour.
  • Pelvic infection
  • Low birth weight
  • Exposure to hormones in IUDs could affect the pregnancy.
  • In the case of live births, there is a high chance of a congenital abnormality.

Termination Of IUD Before Pregnancy

Extraction of IUDs should happen before the end of the first trimester. Removal of the IUD after this may result in complexities, both, for the carrier and the pregnancy.

IUD elimination needs to take place, regardless of your wish to keep or terminate the pregnancy.

  • So, if you are in your first trimester, you can consult your doctor and take medication to stop the embryo from growing, in which the body absorbs the pregnancy tissue.
  • If you are past the first trimester, you can go for the surgical procedure to remove the ectopic pregnancy.
  • If the pregnancy is inside the uterus, it is your choice to keep or abort it. In the event of an abortion, you can take the abortion pill before your 10th week. Medical abortion is available at or after the 10th week till the 20th-24th week of pregnancy.
  • In case of IUD failure, you can talk to your healthcare provider. Usage of emergency contraception stops ovulation and prevents you from getting pregnant.
  • Hormonal EC is the most effective when taken within 72 hours of birth control failure.
  • If the hormonal IUD failed, you could opt for the route of copper IUD. It can prevent pregnancy if inserted within five days of birth control failure.


No birth control measure is 100 percent efficient. In the case of failure, you do not need to panic. Focus on the prospects available and consult with your doctor.

In the article, we have explained how IUDs can prevent pregnancies but can also fail plenty of times. We listed how IUDs affect the pregnancy and the carrier. We also talked about the symptoms, precautions, alternatives, and healthcare required.

We hope the article has shed some light on the importance of responsible intercourse and provides some much-needed sexual knowledge to readers.

Bonus Read: Know more about the early signs of pregnancy.


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