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Contraception. 1998 Apr;57(4):251-5.

Perforations with intrauterine devices. Report from a Swedish survey.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.


This survey comprised 50 consecutive perforations occurring with intrauterine devices (IUD) reported to the National Patient Insurance Scheme Register during 1990 to 1993. All 50 women were parous and > 20 years of age at the time of IUD insertion. Forty-two (84%) of the IUD were inserted by a midwife and eight by a gynecologist. A total of 45 women (90%) had their IUD inserted < 1 year after a full-term pregnancy and 31 women (62%) had their IUD inserted < or = 12 weeks after delivery. Of the 50 women, 27 (54%) reported that they were breastfeeding at the time of IUD insertion. No particular IUD was overrepresented in relation to its share on the market. In 31 cases (62%), severe pain at insertion and during the first 24 h was recorded. In 14 women (28%), the perforation was diagnosed early (i.e., within 1 month of insertion) and in 36 women (72%), the perforation was diagnosed > 1 month after insertion. Lower abdominal pain was the most frequent symptom at early diagnosis but in two cases, the main symptom was heavy bleeding. Among the 36 women in whom the perforation was discovered more than 1 month after insertion, the diagnosis was made when an unexpected pregnancy occurred in 20 women (56%). In 15 cases, the IUD strings were not visible during pelvic examination at a routine check-up, which led to efforts to locate the IUD. Thirty-two women (64%) underwent laparotomy for removal. We conclude that lactating women seem to be a risk group for perforation and that a national register of IUD perforations could provide a better means of quality control.

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