IUD with "missing" strings - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 11-11-2008, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know there are a lot of IUD threads around, but I didn't see any about having an IUD removed when the strings aren't available.

I've had my IUD for about a year, and right away the strings floated up. My midwife suggested an ultrasound and xray to make sure it hadn't fallen out, and it's still there. DH and I are ready to TTC #2, but I'm looking for any stories of others who have had theirs removed when the strings aren't there.

TIA!
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#2 of 20 Old 11-12-2008, 03:02 AM
 
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I had a IUD for about 24 hours before it went missing. My friend asked how long the strings were so I wnt looking and they were not there. A us showed it had perferated my uterus,fun times.

Doing what I can to make better choices every day!
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#3 of 20 Old 11-12-2008, 03:13 AM
 
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There's a special tool called an IUD hook. It's usually easy to get out with that tool. If it's not easy, they put you under for the removal so they can explore more. If all else fails, they dialate the cervix a bit to be able to get it. That would put a delay in your TTC plans because you'd have a wait a whole nother cycle to conceive.

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#4 of 20 Old 11-12-2008, 03:19 AM
 
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Missing IUD String
When confronted with a missing IUD string, most clinicians will gently probe the cervical canal to see if they can tease the string back down through the os. A cotton-tipped applicator or a Pap smear brush works well for this purpose. Once the string is brought down into the vagina (and about 3/4 will be found this way), nothing further needs to be done.

If the string is not inside the cervical canal then further evaluation and treatment will be needed from an experienced and well-equipped gynecologic consultant. X-ray can confirm that the IUD remains somewhere within the pelvis.
From this link

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#5 of 20 Old 11-13-2008, 11:27 AM
 
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I has my Merina for 5 years. The strings were missing the last year and after 3 painful removal attempts I had it removed surgically as it was embedded in my uterine wall. The surgery was very easy and no pain (thanks to GA).
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#6 of 20 Old 11-13-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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Man, how frequent is this? I know some women love their IUD but, I don't think I could have something in my uterus, other then a baby!

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#7 of 20 Old 11-13-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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My iud strings went missing. I had an u/s that showed it was in place and an OB/Gyn had to take it out rather than my family dr. I have to be honest... it hurt quite a bit to get it out, but it didn't last long.
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#8 of 20 Old 11-16-2008, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies! I found out there is one Dr. at my clinic who is willing to try to remove it with the IUD hook. Here's hoping it works.

I don't think I'll be getting another IUD in the future.
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#9 of 20 Old 12-15-2008, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I thought I'd update my original question by posting my story about having my IUD removed. I'm going to start at the beginning, so it's long.

I had my IUD put in a few months after DD was born. I had cramps longer than normal, but never any spotting or periods or significant pain.

In August DH and I decide we're ready to start thinking about TTC #2. I make my appointment to have the IUD removed, but can't get in until November. I meet with my midwife, who says the strings are not poking through the cervix, and she recommends a doctor who can remove it with the IUD hook. I wait another 4 weeks to get in to see him.

I meet the Doctor, who I'm told has lots of experience with IUD's, on Monday. I'm not entirely creeped out by him, like I am with some male doctors, so I let him start poking around. I feel crampy and uncomfortable, but it's not unbearable. He doesn't have any luck with the first two methods he tries to get it out. This is where I should have told him to stop. He goes to get the ultrasound machine, to make sure the IUD is still in place. It is. I see it on the screen. He says he can feel it, but it won't come out, is possibly embedded. He wants to try one more thing, and I say ok. I don't want to have to come back, and I want be pregnant again.

He tries whatever it was he wanted to try... and it hurts... A LOT... I almost passed out. He suddenly stops, and says he's done with the office visit, and will send in a nurse to make an appointment for hysteroscopy. The nurse comes in and says they want me to come in early Wednesday morning. I agree, thinking, it's less time for me to worry about the procedure. My husband comments that it's strange that they were able to get me in so soon when I had been waiting so long for other appointments. I had significant spotting after that visit.

Wednesday comes, I go to the outpatient surgery center. I wake up from the anesthesia, buzz for a nurse, and ask for some water. I'm pretty groggy, so I'm ok that no one has come in to talk to me yet. When I finish my water I ask for more, and ask for my husband to come in. No one has come to talk to me, and my husband doesn't show up either. At some point the anesthesioligist comes and asks how I'm doing and if anyone has told me what happened. Nope. Still nothing. I buzz for the nurse again and ask for the doctor and my husband. The nurse says she's not sure if the doctor will come in. Eventually the doctor shows up, but not my husband.

The doctor tells me I had an "escape artist" IUD that somehow, at some unknown and unknowable point worked its way through my uterine wall and they had to do laproscopic surgery to remove it from my abdomen. He says the hole in my uterus is small, BB-sized, and shouldn't affect my ability to become or stay pregnant. He says it should heal within six weeks, and then gave the speech about "considering my delivery options" for future pregnancies. I'm still groggy so I just accept everything he says. He gave my husband pictures from the surgery. The hole was right there, not healed, still bleeding, and looks to be more like a pea than a BB.

While the doctor is still talking, my husband finally comes in. Later he tells me that no one came to get him, he came in on his own. The doctor had already been to talk to him, and apparently was expecting my husband to explain everything to me.

It took me days to put the pieces together. I don't think I had an "escape artist" IUD. I had a doctor who, instead of pulling the IUD out, pushed it through my uterine wall. I think I'm lucky that it didn't end up worse, but I am so angry at that doctor, and myself. I feel like I let it happen. I should have told him to stop.

I went in today to have my stitches removed. I had been thinking all weekend about what I would say to him. I felt like I needed to let him know that I knew what happened. But when it came down to it, I didn't say anything. I left the office feeling sick, and hating myself for being afraid.

I want to be pregnant again, but now I'm scared. My first birth was natural and as easy as giving birth can be. I'm terrified that the doctor has taken that option away from me in the future. In my head, I know that women can have safe and successful VBACs, and my wound is smaller than a cesarean scar. But now there are risks that I should never have had to think about.

I'm still working through how I feel about this, and how it affects my plans to expand my family.

I realize that my experience is uncommon, but I would still urge anyone with floating IUD strings to skip the office visit and ask for hysteroscopy right away.
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#10 of 20 Old 12-15-2008, 11:54 PM
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Oh my gosh. Thanks for posting your story, I think it will help other women make informed decisions. And I am so, so sorry that happened to you.

That dr clearly caused you harm and covered his a$$. Unfortunately this happens a lot in medicine. Please take care.

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#11 of 20 Old 12-16-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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There is no way I'd have an IUD placed if I ever wanted to have children again. I was almost convinced by my Nurse Practitioner when I considered all the BC choices to use for when I became sexually active when I married. I had made the appt. for the IUD, and this clear and unmistakeable voice in my head said to me: Don't do it, you'll be sorry later.

Well, that was so clear.. how could I not cancel the appt? Two years later I was taking Clomid because I couldn't ovulate, and a year later had a new baby. I always have been grateful for listening to that prompting not to get an IUD. It seems so logical on the surface: get an IUD, take it out when you want to get pregnant...have kids, get the IUD put back in.

Except all those pesky details they don't tell you... Perforated uterus.. uterine infections, lost strings..

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#12 of 20 Old 12-16-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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Oh, my. Your story really scared me. I have a Mirena and I really, really hate it. I'm regretting ever getting it in the first place. I've never been able to feel the strings, so I'm always afraid that it's moved, although DH used to feel it when it was first in.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I will totally take your advice should the strings not be in place. That's terrifying. I really hope everything works out for you and you have a successful pregnancy and delivery.
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#13 of 20 Old 12-16-2008, 08:51 PM
 
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My Mirena strings went missing; the OB who removed it had to probe for the strings w/a curved hemostat. It wasn't particularly fun, but not excruciatingly painful either. I was just glad to be rid of it. She said it's not uncommon for the strings to retreat up into the cervix.

OP, I'm so sorry that you went through all of that, and I'd be very angry with the way things turned out. It does indeed sound as if your Dr. made a big mistake :

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#14 of 20 Old 12-16-2008, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate the responses. I'm not as emotional now as I was when I posted yesterday, but I'm still upset.

I think I'm going to make an appointment with my regular midwife to talk about the situation and get a feeling for what to expect from her with my next pregnancy and delivery.
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#15 of 20 Old 04-13-2009, 11:08 PM
 
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I know this is an ancient thread, but I've got a similar problem. No strings. Doc fished for it. No dice. Has me coming back in a week for a u/s and more time. He "had other patients" and didn't want to do it today. I've been feeling it more today (part of the reason I went in to get it out). Should I go to the ER/Urgent Care or wait for Dr. "Wonderful"?
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#16 of 20 Old 04-13-2009, 11:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by medicmama View Post
I had a IUD for about 24 hours before it went missing. My friend asked how long the strings were so I wnt looking and they were not there. A us showed it had perferated my uterus,fun times.
Me too!:


I have a retroverted uterus...so when the midwife put it in it just went strait through my cervix and into my abdomen!

So sorry that happened mama! s:

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#17 of 20 Old 04-13-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Da WIC Lady View Post
I know this is an ancient thread, but I've got a similar problem. No strings. Doc fished for it. No dice. Has me coming back in a week for a u/s and more time. He "had other patients" and didn't want to do it today. I've been feeling it more today (part of the reason I went in to get it out). Should I go to the ER/Urgent Care or wait for Dr. "Wonderful"?

I would go if i where bleeding or having any pain.

You need an Xray....a sono isnt going to be able to tell as easily. My Drs searched and searched for it for a good hour and a half, and still didnt know where it was with the sono, but found it immediately when they did an xray! And the Dr that ended up doing my surgery said that they can easily puncture an organ and cause internal bleeding!!!!

I would go to the ER!

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#18 of 20 Old 04-13-2009, 11:22 PM
 
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I had my IUD removed a couple months ago. About 6 weeks prior, I had to have a u/s to make sure it was still there as the strings weren't visible. The midwife couldn't see the strings, so we moved to the u/s room intending to use the u/s to find the IUD, but the doctor who was going to administer the u/s said she wanted to look first. She ended up using a brush (like a wire brush similar to those used to clean glasses/bottles) inserted into my cervix and spinning a bit in order to "grab" the strings. It worked. It was uncomfortable, but not torture. : Good luck!
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#19 of 20 Old 04-13-2009, 11:34 PM
 
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my mom scared me off IUDs at a very young age (right around my first period) when she explained that that was the reason two of my aunts cannot have babies... they kept getting pregnant and as far as i knew "suddenly werent pregnant anymore" when i got older she told me they each had IUD's puncture their uterus and one kept having ectopic pregnancies and the other just couldnt keep one... but this was of course well over a decade and a half ago when she explained it to me and further back when it happened to them.

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#20 of 20 Old 04-14-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Aliviasmom View Post
I had my IUD removed a couple months ago. About 6 weeks prior, I had to have a u/s to make sure it was still there as the strings weren't visible. The midwife couldn't see the strings, so we moved to the u/s room intending to use the u/s to find the IUD, but the doctor who was going to administer the u/s said she wanted to look first. She ended up using a brush (like a wire brush similar to those used to clean glasses/bottles) inserted into my cervix and spinning a bit in order to "grab" the strings. It worked. It was uncomfortable, but not torture. : Good luck!
Yeah, he used the brush and the IUD hook and no go. Said he could feel it where it should be. I think I'm off to the hospital. Thanks ladies.
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