IUDs (intrauterine devices) are becoming more popular than ever. IUDs like Mirena and ParaGard are amongst the most highly effective of all available contraception (with equal effectiveness to a vasectomy, and in some cases, even greater efficiency than a tubal ligation).
The “strings” are attached to the IUD, run down the uterus and out the cervix, finding their final resting place somewhere high up in the vaginal canal.
The IUD strings let the patient know whether her IUD is still in place. Although not common, IUD expulsion (when the device becomes dislodged from the uterus) is possible, and can occur in 3 to 10 percent of patients.
Some of the risk factors for IUD expulsion include:
Nulliparity (if you have never given birth) Menorrhagia Severe dysmenorrhea Prior IUD expulsion Under 20 years of age IUD insertion happens immediately after a second-trimester abortion or if you are postpartum
Since many women may show no symptoms of IUD expulsion, it is important that you learn how to check your IUD strings because this may be the only way to tell for sure if your IUD has dislodged or has moved out of place