Research Article| Volume 98, ISSUE 1, P25-29, July 2018

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



      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.


      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).


      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.


      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.


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