Q: Good evening doctor, I put to bed 4 weeks ago and immediately after delivery family planning copper T was inserted in my womb, and now it used to come down to my vagina because I used to touch it. Please ma’am, is it safe for me or what do I do about it? Thank you ma’am.
A: Hi dear. Thanks for writing in.
Copper T refers to a type of intra-uterine device used to prevent pregnancy. There are two types: the Paragard IUD and the Mirena IUD.
The Paragard IUD is a copper-containing IUD. This is probably the one you had inserted. The copper is poisonous/toxic to sperm and the IUD also prevents implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus, should fertilization still occur. Paragard can be used during breastfeeding and its removal leads to a quick return of fertility, generally. It usually prevents pregnancy for about 10 years after insertion.
The Mirena IUD contains hormones which make the cervical mucous extra thick preventing the sperm from getting to the womb and it also makes the lining of the womb thin such that even if a fertilized egg were to get there, it would not be able to implant on the thin lining of the womb. It also prevents ovulation. Mirena helps reduce the cramping pain of a menstrual period and also reduces bleeding. It prevents pregnancy for up to 5 years after insertion.
Side effects of Paragard include back ache, cramps, severe pain during menstrual period and heavy bleeding etc while Mirena can cause breast tenderness, weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles etc Both Paragard and Mirena IUDs can also be expelled, spontaneously, that is for no reason.
There are warning signs to look out for when you have the IUD on. If you experience any of these under-listed symptoms, please see your doctor immediately.
Severe vaginal bleeding with at least 2 sanitary towels soaked every hour for 2 or more hours.
Smelly vaginal discharge. This could be associated with fever and chills
Severe pain in abdomen or pelvis
General information about IUDs:
• They are more than 99% effective
• You and your partner cannot feel the IUD itself either during sexual intercourse or while checking for it. The IUD itself should be firmly housed inside the womb/uterus. If indeed, you can feel it in the vagina, it may have been expelled
• Your partner may however be able to feel the string during sexual intercourse and the string can also be felt if a finger is into the vagina.
• People who have inserted IUDs may feel abdominal cramps or lower back ache for a few weeks after insertion
• Bleeding in between periods may also happen.
• There is a risk of infection if the user of IUD or her sexual partner have other sexual partners.
So, if indeed, it is the IUD you feel in the vagina and not the string, you need to see visit your family planning clinic as soon as possible to get that checked out. Remember that if, indeed, the IUD is not properly inserted or has been expelled, you stand the risk of a pregnancy and so you should get this checked out shortly and use some other form of contraception in the meantime.
Have a great week ahead y’all 😀