Letter: IUD and congenital malformation

Br Med J. 1976 Apr 17;1(6015):959. doi: 10.1136/bmj.1.6015.959-b.


PIP: We were interested to read the paper by Dr. Herbert Barrie (February 28, p. 488) of 2 cases of infants with limb reduction deformity born to mothers who were using copper-containing IUDs. We present a further case in which this association was observed. The affected infant was born in 1975 to a 24-year-old Nigerian woman. The mother's 1st pregnancy was uneventful. At 37 weeks' gestation the Copper 7 was partly extruded from the cervix and was easily removed. 2 days later labor started spontaneously and the child was delivered normally. The male infant cried well at birth. It weighed 2820 gm and the head circumerence was 35 cm. The child's head, face, trunk, and right upper limb were normal. The other limbs had severe reduction deformities. The left radius was absent and there were only 2 fingers on the left hand. Both lower limbs were abnormal: the left had a single slender long bone articulating with the foot, which was markedly dorsiflexed and had only 2 toes; on the right the femur was angulated, the fibula was absent, and only 4 metatarsals were present with 4 toes. The child has made satisfactory progress and gained 1 kg in the first 3 months. The abnormalities described are more extensive than those described by Dr. Barrie. This infant will never achieve a normal gait, and will remain severely handicapped.

MeSH terms

  • Copper / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intrauterine Devices / adverse effects*
  • Limb Deformities, Congenital*
  • Male


  • Copper