Coming off contraception has different effects on your hormones, your periods, and your fertility depending on what method you’ve been using. Coming off the IUD is actually one of the least disruptive ways to regain your natural fertility and menstrual cycle. Once the device has been removed, it shouldn’t be too long before you’re having a baby after the IUD!
Fertility levels return to their pre-IUD levels at once. In fact, if you’ve been using the non-hormonal type of IUD, your fertility was never really affected. The IUD just prevented conception from taking place. The whole thing is actually very similar to using condoms as contraception. When you use them, they prevent pregnancy. When you stop using them, pregnancy can occur.
Since you didn’t have any hormones released into your body, there’s no adjustment period for the body to return to “normal” and you could get pregnant very soon after coming off contraception with an IUD that does not contain hormones. Even if you were using a hormonal IUD, it is still possible to get pregnant during your first cycle without the IUD, since the hormones used in the IUD to prevent pregnancy were removed along with it.
If you’ve been off the IUD for a while and haven’t gotten pregnant, it’s easy to pin the blame on the IUD but it’s highly unlikely that the IUD caused the problem. Talk to your doctor to see what else could be affecting your ability to conceive.
Removing the IUD
IUDs can be removed at any point in a woman’s menstrual cycle, but they should be removed by a doctor who has experience removing them. Most women choose to have the same doctor who placed the IUD remove it. Simply make an appointment to have the device removed and it’ll be out before you know it!
What if I Get Pregnant While Using an IUD?
While the chance of conceiving while on an IUD is very, very small, it’s still possible and it needs to be taken seriously. Make an appointment to see your OB/GYN immediately. There are two primary concerns with pregnancy while using an IUD.
The first concern is whether or not the pregnancy is ectopic. That means the egg could implant in your fallopian tubes or somewhere other than the uterus. This happens because IUDs primarily prevent fertilization from taking place in the uterus, not the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable and carry many risks, including the possibility of rupturing the fallopian tube which can cause severe internal bleeding, shock and permanent damage to the tube. If you think you may be pregnant while on an IUD, see a doctor or visit the hospital immediately.
If you end up being pregnant, but it isn’t ectopic, the doctor will probably recommend removing the IUD anyway. If you keep the IUD in place, you run the risk of miscarriage. Removing the IUD carries a small risk of miscarriage as well but it is not as high as keeping the IUD through a pregnancy.