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Pelvic abscess in intrauterine device users.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Osmangazi University School of Medicine, Eskisehir, Turkey.



To assess the causality between pelvic abscess formation and intrauterine device (IUD) use through a clinical study in a hospital.


Sixty-two pelvic abscesses were retrospectively evaluated over a 7-year period. Patient records retrieved for the women enrolled in this study consisted of demographic characteristics, duration of IUD use and clinical management details.


All the women were monogamous Muslim women without any suspicious sexual contacts, immunosupressive states, or drug use at the time of IUD insertion. In 10 cases (16.1%), a history of pelvic surgery was present. The mean age of the women was 36.1 +/- 2.3 years (range 19-50 years). Of the 62 women, 14 (22.6%) were current IUD users. The mean time interval for women using IUD prior to the diagnosis of pelvic abscess was 5.7 +/- 1.2 years (range 1-14 years). In all cases, a pelvic mass and abdominal pain constituted the referral signs and symptoms. All women received an initial antibiotic regimen comprising penicillin (24 mU/day), clindamycin (900 mg/day) and gentamycin (240 mg/day) in divided doses. In 38 cases (61.3%), medical treatment yielded a satisfactory clinical outcome, defined as a decreas in mass volume together with pain relief and a decrease in leukocytosis. Twenty-four cases (38.7%) underwent a subsequent surgical procedure, either laparotomy (n = 19) or laparoscopy (n = 5). The type of surgery ranged from abscess drainage to more radical approaches such as total abdominal hysterectomy and/or unilateral or bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. There were no differences between those women responding to medical therapy and those who did not respond in terms of mean age, percentage of past pelvic surgery, gravidity, parity and the size of pelvic abscess.


A substantial number of women with an IUD were diagnosed as having a pelvic abscess within a 7-year period at the university clinic. Despite current knowledge that pelvic inflammatory disease and pelvic abscess are rarely encountered in long-term IUD users, the presence of an IUD should be investigated in cases with an initial diagnosis of pelvic abscess based on clinical and ultrasonographic evaluation, demonstrating mostly acquisition via sexually transmitted disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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