Health

Do IUDs Increase the Risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

A controversial question: Do IUDs raise the risk of a serious infection that can damage fertility? Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, wreaks havoc in a woman’s lower abdomen. Now, researchers are sparring over whether intrauterine devices, popular long-term contraceptives, might increase the chances of this menacing condition. Join us as we plunge into the facts.

Overview of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID, also known as pelvic inflammatory disease, is a dangerous infection of the female reproductive system. Both women and those assigned female at birth may contract infections of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. 

PID develops when certain types of bacteria are able to travel from the vagina into the internal reproductive system.

Sexually transmitted infections that are left untreated are the primary cause of PID, as they allow bacteria to enter the body. However, bacteria normally found in the vagina can also, on rare occasions, lead to PID. 

Symptoms include lower abdominal or pelvic pain, as well as unusual discharge from the vagina. In severe cases, PID can cause permanent scarring of the reproductive organs and impact fertility.

Unprotected sexual contact is the most prevalent way for someone to get PID. Having sex provides a path for bacteria to enter the reproductive tract, where infection takes hold. Each year, over 1 million people in the United States are diagnosed with PID. For some, the infection leads to infertility due to damage to the fallopian tubes or other organs. 

Young women and AFAB people between 15-25 have the highest risk. Regular STI screening and treatment are key to preventing the serious complications of PID.

Overview of IUD

There are five main types of intrauterine devices (IUDs) that are highly effective birth control options. IUDs are T-shaped devices made of flexible plastic that are inserted into the uterus by a healthcare provider.

Four IUDs contain progesterone hormone (Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, Skyla) and work by slowly releasing small amounts of progesterone into the uterus. This thickens cervical mucus, slows sperm movement, and thins the uterine lining.

One IUD is non-hormonal (Paragard) and contains copper. Copper destroys sperm, preventing it from reaching and fertilizing an egg.

If placed five days after unprotected sex, hormonal IUDs and Paragard can also be used as emergency contraception. IUDs can be effective for three to ten years, depending on the type of device.

Once inserted into the uterus, IUDs create changes that highly impair or completely prevent pregnancy in a variety of ways. They modify cervical mucus, impact sperm mobility, and alter the uterine environment. Some IUDs like Mirena can even stop ovulation entirely.

IUDs are commonly regarded as the most reliable birth control available today. Fewer than 1 in 100 IUD users will experience an unintended pregnancy each year, yielding greater than 99% effectiveness. For many women seeking long-term contraception, IUDs provide a very effective option.

Are IUDs Linked to a Higher Risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) like the Paragard IUD are meant to be safe and effective long-term birth control options. However, some women have experienced serious injuries from Paragard IUDs, fracturing or breaking within the body.

According to TorHoerman Law, broken IUD pieces may puncture or lacerate the uterus or other internal organs during removal attempts. This can potentially lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or the need for additional surgeries. In rare cases, a hysterectomy may even be required to address injury complications.

There are also reports of Paragard IUDs puncturing or perforating the uterine wall in some cases. This can allow bacteria to enter the abdomen and potentially cause PID. 

That is why many women who have experienced injuries have filed lawsuits such as the Paragard IUD lawsuit against the manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals. Common allegations include failures to warn patients and healthcare providers about risks adequately.

When product manufacturers fail to properly disclose known risks, it can form the basis for legal liability. By failing to warn against lawsuits, victims may be able to claim damages for their medical expenses, lost wages while recovering, pain and suffering, and other non-economic and financial losses. Establishing the manufacturer’s knowledge of risks is a key element of such cases.

FAQs

1. How can inflammation from the IUD be reduced?

A: After IUD insertion, your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to treat pain and minimize swelling. Typically, taking 600 milligrams of ibuprofen every 8 hours for the first day or two can be effective.

2. Is PID treatable?

A: Yes, PID can be cured if diagnosed early. However, treatment cannot reverse any damage already inflicted on the reproductive system. PID problems are more likely to occur if treatment is postponed.

3. How long does it take for PID to heal completely?

A: Complete healing of PID typically requires a course of one or more antibiotics. With antibiotic therapy, the infection usually clears within about 2 weeks. For best results, the prescribed antibiotics should be taken at the same time each day. 

While IUDs are generally very safe and effective forms of birth control when used correctly, any medical device does carry some risks. Ongoing research and genuine discourse around potential health issues are important to help ensure women’s well-being and access to the full range of reproductive healthcare options. 

Overall, safety and choice should remain top priorities as we continue seeking ways to prevent unintended pregnancy in a manner that respects each individual.

SEE ALSO THIS: Exploring Shockwave Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction

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