Factors associated with low-lying intrauterine devices: a cross-sectional ultrasound study in a cohort of African-American women

Contraception. 2018 Jul;98(1):25-29. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2018.02.018. Epub 2018 Mar 14.


Objective: The object of this study is to examine factors and symptoms associated with low-lying IUDs as defined by ultrasound.

Study design: This is a cross-sectional sub-study of participants in the Study of Environment, Life-style, and Fibroids (SELF). SELF participants had screening ultrasounds for fibroids at study enrollment; those with an IUD in place are included in this sub-study. Low-lying IUDs were identified and localized. Logistic regression was used to identify factors and symptoms associated with low-lying IUDs.

Results: Among 168 women with IUDs at ultrasound, 28 (17%) had a low-lying IUD. Having a low-lying IUD was associated with low education level (≤high school: aOR 3.1 95% CI 1.14-8.55) and with increased BMI (p=.002). Women with a low-lying IUD were more likely to report a "big problem" with dysmenorrhea (the highest option of the Likert scale) as compared to women with a normally-positioned IUD (OR 3.2 95% CI 1.07-9.54).

Conclusion: Our study found that women with a low-lying IUD are more likely to be of lower education and higher BMI, and to report more dysmenorrhea.

Implications: Women who are obese may benefit from additional counseling and closer follow-up after IUD placement. Future research is warranted to investigate IUD placement and possible IUD migration among women who are obese.

Keywords: Dysmenorrhea; Expulsion; Intrauterine contraception device; Low-lying; Malposition; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dysmenorrhea / diagnostic imaging
  • Dysmenorrhea / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices / adverse effects*
  • Intrauterine Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Ultrasonography
  • Young Adult