Can You Get Pregnant With an IUD?

Can You Get Pregnant With an IUD?

So, you’ve narrowed down your choice of birth control to an IUD

Or, you might still be weighing up your decision. 🤔

But, the crucial question — is it possible to become pregnant if you have an IUD fitted?

Well, to give you the straight up answer, yes — it’s possible.

But it’s not very likely!

Let’s dive right in and clear up all your unanswered questions about pregnancy and IUDs. 👇

In this article, we are referring to both hormonal and copper IUDs.

In this article: 📝

  • How would you get pregnant with an IUD?
  • How common is it to get pregnant with an IUD?
  • How would I know if I’m pregnant with IUD?
  • What happens if you get pregnant with an IUD?

How would you get pregnant with an IUD?

An IUD is supposed to prevent pregnancy, right?

So, how could you get pregnant with one fitted?!

Well, like any other form of birth control, they aren’t always 100% accurate.

But when inserted correctly, IUDs are more than 99% effective.

So, pretty darn effective!

Your coil can also offer protection against pregnancy for 5 to 10 years, depending on the type — so once it’s fitted, you can relax in the knowledge you’re protected for years to come…

But there’s always a chance, even if it is small.

Can you get pregnant with an expired IUD?

Yes, you can get pregnant if you’re using an expired IUD, although they do usually still work for a while after their official expiry date.

And, while there aren’t any medical studies to support this, some women have had more vaginal infections while using an expired IUD.

So if you think your IUD could be out of date, book an appointment with your doc ASAP.

If my IUD moved, can I get pregnant?

Yes, it is possible to get pregnant if your IUD has moved.

Sometimes, your IUD could slip or move out of place (known as expulsion).

If it’s not in the right place, this could mean you may be at more risk of becoming pregnant.

Again, this isn’t very common, but an IUD might move if:

  • Your IUD is new (as it’s more likely to move in the first few months after being inserted)
  • Your IUD is old and needs replacing (too far past its expiration date can also increase risk for infections, as well as potentially no longer protecting you from pregnancy)
  • You have strong cramps during your period
  • You’ve had your IUD put in immediately after you’ve given birth

So, make a habit out of checking for your coil threads every 3-4 weeks after you’ve first had it fitted, then around every 3-4 months afterward.

If you can’t feel your coil threads, or you’re having any unusual symptoms (such as bleeding in between periods, pain or soreness, or extreme cramping), your IUD may have moved.

Make sure to book an appointment with the doc right away to have it checked over.

How common is it to get pregnant with an IUD?

Less than 1% of women with a IUD fitted get pregnant each year.

So, not very common at all!

And a 2018 review showed 0.8% of people with copper IUDs got pregnant, and 0.2% of people with hormonal IUDs.

And although coils can move, it doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get pregnant if it’s slipped out of place.

It may still be offering some protection, but it’s important to get it moved back into place as soon as possible.

Pregnancy with an IUD can also be dangerous for both mother and baby.

You may be at risk of having an ectopic pregnancy — this is when the embryo tries to grow outside of your uterus (commonly the fallopian tube), which results in ending the pregnancy as it puts your life at risk.

That’s why if you suspect any pregnancy symptoms, even if you have a coil, get in touch with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

How would I know if I’m pregnant with IUD?

Without some crucial signs (such as a missed period, if you’re on the hormonal coil which limits your periods anyway), you may be wondering how to spot signs of pregnancy with an IUD.

You’d likely experience similar symptoms to pregnancies without IUDs, so keep a sharp eye out for:

  • Sore and enlarged breasts
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Light spotting (as this could be implantation bleeding)
  • Mild cramping
  • Tiredness/fatigue

… and many more! 😅

Sometimes, it can be hard to work out what are early pregnancy signs, and what’s just PMS. 🙃

So, of course, taking a pregnancy test is the ultimate way of telling whether you’re pregnant or not.

Will a pregnancy test be positive with an IUD?

Your IUD shouldn’t affect your hCG levels — so your result will be positive if you’re pregnant, or negative if you’re not.

Of course, you’ll need to make sure you’re following the instructions carefully, testing at the right time of day, and you’re not using any expired tests.

Need a bit more support? We got you.

🔍 Get clued up: What Not To Do Before Taking A Pregnancy Test

What happens if you get pregnant with an IUD?

If you do think you’re pregnant, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

The doc will then likely tell you what type of pregnancy you have —whether it’s an intrauterine pregnancy, or an ectopic.

If you have an ectopic pregnancy, unfortunately, your pregnancy will not be viable, as the fetus can’t grow outside the uterus, and it’s very dangerous for the mother.

If you have an intrauterine pregnancy, you then have the choice of whether to continue with the pregnancy or not.

If you’re proceeding with the pregnancy, the doctor will then remove your IUD.

If you don’t have this removed, you’ll have a higher chance of miscarriage (40-50% greater risk), early birth (by up to five fold), or infection.

But, we know this may be a confusing time.

Getting pregnant on an IUD isn’t something that’s ever planned for — so there may not be a clear decision. 😖

But, here at Peanut, it’s your body, your choice — and there’s never any judgement from us, whatever you choose to do. ❤️


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