The impact of intrauterine devices on subsequent fertility

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To investigate the impact of intrauterine devices on subsequent fertility.

Recent findings

Intrauterine devices are safe, well tolerated and used by millions of women worldwide.

Recent findings

Subsequent fertility is studied among women who remove the intrauterine contraceptive device for planning pregnancy or among women who have removed the intrauterine contraceptive device because of intrauterine contraceptive device-related complications and later on have become pregnant. Study participants are recruited from randomized clinical trials on intrauterine contraceptive device performance or in case series among women who remove the intrauterine contraceptive device. Pregnancy rates after removal are high and are similar to time-to-pregnancy rates in the general population. The birth rates are high with a normal distribution of preterm deliveries, normal birth weight and sex ratio of newborns. The ratio of extra-intrauterine pregnancies and the need for infertility work up are low, and the distribution of infertility causes among fully investigated couples is as seen in the general population.

Summary

Despite small sample size of studies investigating impact of intrauterine contraceptive devices on subsequent fertility, the results are consistent and reassuring on high pregnancy rates, and a normal distribution of pregnancy outcomes. There are limited data on return of fertility after usage of medicated intrauterine contraceptive devices– more studies are warranted among women who have used hormone-releasing intrauterine contraceptive devices.

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