Woman Was Told Her IUD Fell Out a Decade Ago — Until an X-Ray Showed It Floating by Her Abdomen
Melinda Nichols believed her doctor when he said her IUD fell out a decade earlier. So she was “baffled” to learn a few weeks ago that it was still in her body, floating in her abdomen.
Nichols, a factory worker in Ohio, decided to get an IUD in 2008. She and her husband had welcomed their third child in Dec. 2007, and wanted a permanent form of contraception.
She went to her doctor for the IUD, and went in for a “routine” x-ray a few weeks later to make sure it was in place.
“It showed it was gone,” Nichols, 40, tells PEOPLE. “They told me it must have fallen out.”
She questioned the doctor, asking, “wouldn’t that be something I would have seen or felt?” but he told Nichols, “not necessarily.”
The doctor offered to put in a new IUD, but she turned him down and ended up having her fallopian tubes tied instead.
Over a decade later, on Nov. 23, Nichols went in for an x-ray for an unrelated back problem.
“The doctor came in and said, ‘You need to contact your OB-GYN today because your IUD is in a weird spot,’ she recalls. “I said, ‘What, I have an IUD?’ I was baffled.”
Nichols says that looking back, she had “random pains here and there,” but no major issues that would have tipped her off to the rogue IUD.
“It didn’t bother me,” she says. “The [pains] weren’t that frequent.”
Nichols got the IUD removed at the end of January through laparoscopic surgery, and says that she didn’t tell the doctor who performed the failed insertion that it had stuck around.
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But, she says, “I do feel that they should have x-rayed other parts of my body, especially after I said I didn’t see or feel it fall out.”
IUDs are one of the most effective and long-term contraception options, at 99 percent. In rare cases, particularly in the first three months after insertion, it can slip out of place. If you’re concerned, talk to your OB-GYN and push for a full examination to get your questions answered.
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