CBS Pittsburgh just printed a news story online about the risks of uterine perforation (tearing the uterus) while using the popular IUD Mirena as well as other forms of IUDs. While IUDs are arguably one of the safer contraceptives on the market, they still come with some risks. The pregnancy rate with an IUD is only about 2/10ths of a percent. That makes them enormously effective at preventing pregnancy. They are inserted into the uterus and a “string” remains hanging down through the opening of the cervix. That means no daily birth control pills to take, no going into get a birth control shot, no charting your cycle for pregnancy prevention. It’s no wonder they are so popular. However, according to the CBS article, there are also thousands of lawsuits regarding this form of birth control.
What I want those of you in our Everything Birth community to be aware of is that, the risks of uterine perforation from an IUD are said to be around 1 in 1000. A study printed in the European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health in 2003 that included over 8000 women using the copper IUD put the risks of uterine tearing from an IUD at about 1 in 500. That same study said that the odds of an IUD perforating the uterus were higher in women who had undergone an abortion and increased numbers of births actually decreased the risks.
If you are planning on getting an IUD to prevent pregnancy, it should be noted that the 2003 article concluded that women who were under six months postpartum had an increased chance of uterine perforation.
If you are planning to get an IUD inserted, it is safest to wait until 6 months postpartum to do so.