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Forum Name: Obstetrics

Question: Potentially pregnant with IUC


 Echo4Friendly - Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:48 pm

I am a mother of two with a Mirena IUC that was inserted in late 2006. I have never had regular periods, but when I have had them they have normally been heavy and unpleasant, . However, for the past few months I have had very light periods (if I have had them at all), and my grandmother continued to have periods during her pregnancies (weird but true; everyone's body is different).

I've been having a lot of the other symptoms that I had when I was pregnant before - the exhaustion, the moodiness, the bloating, the hard-to-pin-down feeling of pregnancy, and the migraines (which are the substitute for morning sickness in my family), not to mention increased heartburn (hiatal hernias also run in my family, so heartburn is run-of-the-mill, but not this bad). I have back problems from a herniated and ruptured L5 disk in my back that was repaired surgically in 2005; however, what is normally a niggling pain has gotten nearly unbearable for abnormal amounts of time (I have occasional episodes, but they have grown more frequent recently). For the past few weeks I've been feeling movement that has been growing stronger and stronger; and my belly has been growing slightly over the past few weeks (my clothes are starting to get tighter); however, I have taken several pregnancy tests over the past few months that have all come out negative. It has been a few weeks since I took one.

The thing is that I have no idea how far along I would be, since I've never been regular with my periods. I also know that Mirena slightly raises the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, which would explain false negatives on tests - however, I haven't experienced any of the other symptoms of ectopic pregnancy (such as pain in the shoulder). I know it is a very effective method of birth control and that it is highly unlikely that I am pregnant; however, I am going with what I know.

I also have ovarian cysts that are likely a result of the IUC, and I know that a pulsating sensation in the abdomen can be a symptom of those getting out of hand, but I don't know that they would explain the other symptoms.

I have no medical insurance and cannot just go get an ultrasound (I am a working mother of two in the middle of a custody battle for one). I have been ignoring this for a long time and have not yet mentioned it to my live-in boyfriend because I am worried that I'm just losing my mind and that he'll think that I've gotten paranoid; however, if I am pregnant and I have gotten far enough along to feel movement (I felt it around fifteen weeks with my second child) and to have started to show a little (I'm able to suck it in some, but it's getting hard) then I'm risking both my health (with my various problems) and my child's to sit around and wait. (Not to mention that I have no idea what the IUC would do to a pregnancy that actually commenced despite its presence.)

I am really stumped, and I'm afraid to bring it up to anyone I know. Please, someone say something, because I'm terrified.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:12 pm

User avatar Hello,
You are right that this is a very effective method of birth control, but no method is 100% except abstinence so of course there is always the possibility and whenever you have symptoms of pregnancy you should be tested. A blood test can be more accurate, earlier, than the urine test so if you are doubtful, get that done. Some clinics or hospitals may even offer free pregnancy testing. You could inquire with your local health department about such services.

One thing about having borne a child in the past is that it makes you very conscious of subtle abdominal feelings and changes. Even women who are post-menopausal sometimes feel sensations that feel exactly like the movement of the baby they felt when they were younger and pregnant. This is also the reason women sometimes question if they are feeling movement early in pregnancy the first time - it isn't an obvious "kick" and they have felt such sensations previously. The bowel and stomach with it's movements and gases that go with the digestive process can very much mimic fetal movement.

If a woman becomes pregnant with the Mirena still intact, it can sometimes be removed. The process may result in a miscarriage, but if not, there is also the chance it will be delivered with the baby.

The fact that you still have some periods leads me to think probably not pregnancy. Most women report lighter periods after the first six months or so of the IUD placement. Again, take the test if in doubt because there is a failure rate of about 1%.

Best wishes.

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