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Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
Introduction Contents Post-Test References Go To Presenter Info


Section 1
Section 2

- Introduction
- Objectives
- Goals
- Eligibility Criteria
- Who Can Use
- Conditions
- Counseling
> Myths
- Side Effects
- IUD Use
- Complications
- Complications

Section 3


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Section 2 - Client Screening and Counseling

Dispelling Myths


  • Are not abortifacients
  • Do not cause infertility
  • Do not cause discomfort for the male partner
  • Do not travel to distant parts of the body
  • Are not too large for small women

Slide 27

Both providers and clients may have false beliefs about IUDs. Replacing rumors with facts will help the user be more comfortable and satisfied with the method and more likely to continue using it.

Some women may be concerned that the IUD is an abortifacient or prevents pregnancy by aborting a fertilized egg. However, as discussed earlier, research has shown that the primary mechanism of action of copper IUDs is to prevent fertilization.

Another myth is that modern IUDs cause infertility. As discussed earlier, infertility is mainly caused by PID. Providers can largely reduce a woman’s risk of developing PID by screening clients for current STIs or high individual risk of STIs and carefully following infection prevention procedures during insertion. This fear of infertility may be a result of problems attributed to the Dalkon shield, an early IUD that has not been manufactured or distributed for 20 years. These problems included an increased risk of infection, infertility, pain and cramping. The most serious consequences associated with Dalkon shield use were the result of untreated infections and septic abortions. The IUDs manufactured today are designed differently to avoid these problems. They are much safer and cause fewer side effects.

Women may have heard that IUDs cause discomfort for the man during intercourse. Occasionally, a man may feel the IUD string, but this should not cause him any pain or discomfort. Counseling the man may be appropriatein such cases. If the male partner finds the string unacceptable, the provider can cut the strings shorter if the client requests it. Clients should understand, however, that if the strings are too short, they may retract into the uterus and the woman may not be able to feel them when checking for the IUD.

Another myth is that the IUD can leave the uterus and travel to distant parts of the body, such as the brain or the heart. On rare occasions, an IUD can perforate the uterus, but it will remain in the abdominal cavity.

The last myth is that Copper T IUDs are too large for small women. Studies comparing the TCu 380A to the smaller MLCu 250 show that this is not true.



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