Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

IUD Won't Hurt Future Fertility, Study Contends

Relatively high pregnancy rates follow birth-control device removal, preliminary research shows

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Intrauterine devices, commonly known as IUDs, do not impair women's future fertility, according to a new study.

Researchers in Guangdong, China found that once these contraceptive devices are removed, women have relatively high pregnancy rates and normal pregnancy results.

The study's findings were scheduled for presentation Wednesday in Boston at a meeting of the International Federation of Fertility Societies and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

"Being able to exercise some control over when they reproduce is a great emancipator for women," Richard Kennedy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, said in a meeting news release. "The fact that IUD use has no long-lasting effect on subsequent ability to conceive is reassuring news."

In conducting the study, the researchers surveyed 562 women who had an IUD removed between 2012 and 2013 because they wanted to have a child.

The researchers found that about three-quarters of the women were able to conceive a child after their IUD was removed. Although the women's age and how long they used an IUD played a role, on average it took 11 months to get pregnant.

Most of the IUDs used were copper, and pregnancy rates after IUD removal for the copper IUDs was about 78 percent. Pregnancy rates were about 74 percent for women who used IUDs that contained the emergency contraceptive levonorgestrel. The researchers said this difference was statistically insignificant.

The study also showed the rate of pelvic inflammatory disease was about 11 percent. Although 12 women experienced ectopic pregnancies, there was no increase in pregnancy complications or negative results, the researchers said.

The IUD is a small, T-shaped device inserted into the uterus.

The stigma associated with IUDs is related to the Dalkon Shield, made by the millions in the 1970s and later linked to infections, including pelvic inflammatory disease, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and some deaths. The Dalkon Shield, which had a design flaw that carried bacteria into the uterus, is no longer on the market.

Data and conclusions presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy