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Intrauterine Device IUD

IUD - Intra Uterine Device is a birth control measure that prevents fertilization. The IUD is inserted inside a woman's uterus to prevent pregnancy. This is a highly reliable form of birth control - nearly 150 million women use it worldwide. The IUD prevents pregnancy by either interfering with the movement of sperm to fertilize the egg or by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg.

Modern IUDs resemble a matchstick and have a T shaped bar across the top. When inserted into the uterus, the arms of the T open out and extend horizontally across the uterus. This birth control measure is nearly 11/2 inches long and is usually made of copper and plastic. The Copper IUDs can be kept in place for nearly 10 years and have a low failure rate. The progesterone- based IUDs release a form of progesterone that makes the mucus in the uterus sticky thereby preventing sperm from getting to the uterus.

The IUD offers a woman birth control without affecting the hormone levels in her body. Another advantage is that fertility is restored as soon as the IUD is removed. The IUD is a cost effective method of preventing pregnancy. It can be safely used during breast-feeding and does not involve routine check ups. IUDs however do not provide any protection against sexually transmitted diseases. An IUD is a preferred form of birth control when you are married or have only one sexual partner. Women who have had a history of ectopic pregnancies must not use IUD as a birth control measure. It is also not advised for women with uterine abnormalities, heavy bleeding and fibroids. No woman must get an IUD inserted unless she is certain that she is not pregnant. IUDs are not advised for teenagers and women who have never had children.

Side effects of IUDs may be an increased risk of PID - Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Some women complain of heavier periods on account of the IUD. Spotting between periods is another complaint by women who have opted for IUD. A rare possibility is of the IUD perforating the uterus. In about 5% of the cases, the IUD is expelled from the uterus into the vagina in the first few months of use.


An acute bacterial infection that is caused by the bacteria acitnomyces, actinomycosis is a rare occurrence in humans. It is more prevalent in cattle. This disease is also called lumpy jaw as it most commonly affects the head and the neck of the affected. Commonly seen on the face, mouth, nose, lungs, neck and abdomen, in women it may show up in the pelvic area too. Though not contagious, it does spread gradually to infiltrate the body's tissues thus causing inflammation or swelling.

Actinomycosis causes sores in the soft tissues in the body. Inflammation of the affected area, formation of multiple abscesses and sinus tracts that discharge sulfur-like granules may also be noticed. This condition is more common in the tropical areas of the world. The condition may not be easily diagnosed but gets painful as it advances. Actinomycosis sets in the soft tissues of the body and if left untreated can affect the surrounding bones. The infected bone needs to be surgically removed.

The type of the disease is classified based on the location of the infection:

Oral cervicofacial actinomycosis: Infection in the tissues of the jaw, mouth or neck.

Pelvic actinomycosis: Infection develops in the pelvis, bacteria spreads from the female genitals to the pelvis.

Thoracic actinomycosis: Develops inside the lungs or the connected airways.

Abdominal actinomycosis: Develops in the abdomen when some food particle tears the tissues and allows the bacterium to penetrate into the deep tissues.

Symptoms vary depending on the type of actinomycosis. Commonly reported symptoms include locked jaw, lump in the face or neck, weight loss, chest pain, draining sores on the skin, fatigue, stomach pain and abnormal vaginal discharge.

Cause of actinomycosis

Actinomycosis is caused by a bacterium that lives in the nose and the throat, this bacterium does not cause an infection on its own. It combines with other bacteria that enter the body to cause the infection. In the initial stages this condition is often mistaken as a fungal infection. In general the bacteria may get active along with other bacteria to cause this condition if a person has:

  • A weak immune system caused by other illness or diseases.

  • Neglected dental care after a dental surgery procedure; oral abscess is a major cause for this condition.

  • Is malnourished.

  • Women with an intrauterine device are also considered to be at high risk as the IUD can be a possible cause for the infection to spread.

Diagnosis of the condition is done by

  • Studying the fluid or the tissue sample of the area for the bacteria/infection.

  • Studying the abscess for red or purple color.

  • Reviewing the patients history for the spread/migration of bacteria.

Treatment for actinomycosis includes high doses of penicillin, antibiotics, medical draining of the infected area and removal of the IUD, if that has been the cause for the infection.


Metrorrhagia is dysfunctional uterine spotting or bleeding between menstrual cycles. This erratic bleeding can occur due to various reasons and can be inconvenient and worrying. Typical causes for Metrorrhagia include endometriosis, hormonal fluctuations, polyps, fibroids, cervical cancer and Adenomyosis. Often an ectopic pregnancy can lead to such irregular spotting. Women who are on the IUD might notice such irregular bleeding in case the contraceptive has shifted. Mid-cycle bleeding can occur sometimes during ovulation. Other causes include trauma and sexually transmitted diseases. Acute or excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking can shorten menstrual cycles. In many cases, no medications are necessary for Metrorrhagia. Oral contraceptive pills are often prescribed to treat irregular bleeding. They help in regulating the menstrual pattern. Lifestyle modification might help in some cases.

Tags: #Intrauterine Device IUD #Actinomycosis #Metrorrhagia
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: July 23, 2024