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Contraceptive Pearl: Fertility following IUD use

Do IUDs cause infertility?  The answer is a resounding NO.

A study of 91 women in India confirmed that fertility returns to baseline right after IUD removal.  The women in this study had their IUDs removed so that they could have a child.  Within 18 months, nearly all of these women had become pregnant.

           

Women over age 30 took a slightly longer time to conceive than younger women, but the difference was not statistically significant.  Return to fertility was not affected by the duration of IUD use.  A similar study of 118 women in Belgium showed that fertility returned to normal levels quickly after IUD use, regardless of women’s parity.

We can advise our patients that IUDs will not interfere with their ability to become pregnant in the future – and if they decide to have an IUD removed before they want to have another child, they should start a new contraceptive method right away.

 

Helpful Resources

To help women choose an IUD, see our IUD Information patient education sheet.

To help women switch safely from an IUD to another contraceptive, see our How to Switch Birth Control Methods patient education sheet.

Sources

Delbarge W, et al.  Return to fertility in nulliparous and parous women after removal of the Gynefix intrauterine contaceptive system.  University Hospital St Pieter, Brussels, Belgium.  Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care.  2002 Mar; 7(1):24-30.

Gupta BK, Gupta AN, Lyall S.  Return to fertility in various types of IUD users.  Chandigarh, India.  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research.  Int J Fertil. 1989 Mar-Apr;34(2) 123-5.

Pharma-free

The Reproductive Health Access Project does not accept funding from pharmaceutical companies. We do not promote specific brands of medication or contraception. The information in the Contraceptive Pearls is unbiased, based on science alone.