MANILA, Philippines — The explosive testimony of Britney Spears blows out as she faces the conservatorship averting her from removing her intrauterine device (IUD).
The controversy opened the opportunity to a further discussion on the risk factors of IUDs and contraceptives that women of any age have to know.
IUDs are the ones used in blocking the sperm from fertilizing the egg that results in pregnancy. It is in “T” shape form, inserted in the vagina and cervix into the uterus.
There are five different IUD brands approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United states such as Paragard, Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta and Skyla. Some of it might have hormones while others do not.
Medical News Today, in an article published last August 1, 2018 and reviewed by Dr. Valinda Riggins Nwadike, said that common IUD side effects include:
- irregular bleeding for several months
- lighter or shorter periods or no periods at all
- symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which include headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and skin blemishes
Rarer side effects of IUDs include:
- Expulsion or when the device comes out of the uterus by accident. If it falls out of place, a doctor will have to re-implant it.
- Uterine perforation, where the IUD punctures the uterine wall. This can cause severe bleeding and result in infection.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which may occur if the IUD insertion procedure introduces bacteria into the uterus.
According to doctor Amanika Kumar, a gynecologic oncologist, in addressing to the issue faced by Spears, she mentioned that weaponizing contraception to abide one’s individual will is considered unethical regardless of cancer risk, as this would be harmful to the individual and to the society.
This is the type of cancer that begins in the lining of the uterus. Patients grow every year and are on the rise among younger ones. Although the IUD reportedly decreases cancer risk, it is not implanted to be used for cancer prevention.
Only in some patients in particular circumstances, IUDs can be used as a treatment for those experiencing abnormal bleeding. But when endometrial cancers metastasized, IUDs cannot be used as treatment.
According to doctor Diana English, a gynecological oncologist from Stanford Medicine, the absence of regular period or the anovulation is prone to happen with the premenopausal patients whereas some of the patients are obese and have the hyperandrogenism and Lynch Syndrome.
IUDs are also used as an option to treat ovarian or cervical cancers. This cancer usually begins in the fallopian tubes. The copper IUDs cause a low-grade flammatory response within the female tract.
Ovarian cancer symptoms
- Feeling unusually full
- Change in bowel habits
- Pelvic pain
Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that someone already has a cancer but must be addressed to the doctor.
These symptoms are often overlooked but regardless of the age, women should be knowledgeable for lower health risks in the future.
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