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  1. 1

    Does infection occur with modern intrauterine devices? [editorial]

    Lancet. 1992 Mar 28; 339(8796):783-4.

    It is difficult to determine if the IUD increases the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) because simple clinical features are not consistently predictive and can have low specificity and sensitivity. The C-reactive protein and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate tests help with PID diagnosis, but only a laparoscopy can determine tubal involvement. In 1970, WHO's Cooperative Statistical Programme found 2-year combined PID rates to range from 3.8 to 5.2/100 women with an IUD. Then WHO and various US organizations agreed IUD use did not necessarily cause PID. During the 1970s, however, a large rise in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), especially chlamydia and gonorrhea, occurred and were associated with PID incidence. Many believed the growing rate of PID was attributable to the increasing use of IUDs. Many studies were biased because of overdiagnosis of PID. A 1990 review of 28 articles revealed that the overall PID rate was 1.49/100 woman years (lower than what many believed earlier). Some researchers used multicountry data on 22, 908 IUD insertions from WHO's data base for IUD studies to determine PID risk in IUD users. This risk was somewhat high during the 1st 20 days postinsertion which may be related to insertion, but PID rates in IUD users corresponded with those from the general population. PID rates did increase with age, however, and they did vary with geographical area. In addition, rates were 62% lower in women whose IUD was inserted after 1980. The PID rate was associated with background risk of STDs. These results and those of other studies suggest that health staff must adequately assess all patients before fitting the IUD and insert it only under strict aseptic conditions. IUDs that release copper and levonorgestrel pose a lower risk of PID than nonmedicated IUDs.
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Current concepts on the use of IUDs.

    McCarthy T

    SINGAPORE MEDICAL JOURNAL. 1989 Aug; 30(4):390-2.

    In the 1980s, a study showed an association between IUD use and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and subsequent infertility. About the same time, 2 major manufacturers of IUDs stopped making IUDs. These 2 events caused a decline in IUD use worldwide. In Singapore, however, the decline began in the 1960s when the Family Planning Board withdrew the IUD from its 5 year plan. After that, researchers in Singapore 1st conducted randomized prospective trials of most new IUDs. For example in the late 1980s, they began a prospective trial of the MLCu380 with a complicated insertion system. Multicenter trails have demonstrated that at least 5 of the newest copper IUDs have a failure rate of <2/100 woman years and <1/100 for 3 other new copper IUDs. Some manufacturers have increased the area of exposed copper from 200-250mm to 375-380mm to increase efficacy, but a prospective trial in Singapore did not show an increase. A large multicenter trial has shown that the levonorgestrel releasing IUD (LNg20) has a very low failure rate (.12/100) and reduces menstrual loss, unlike the copper IUDs. Due to legal concerns over the medical grade plastic, however, the manufacturer stopped distributing it in the late 1980s. WHO hoped to identify a manufacturer for the plastic so further trials could begin around 1991. In the late 1980s, WHO studied the silver cored copper wire IUD used to prevent fragmentation. Since IUDs change the endometrium which suppresses intrauterine pregnancies but not extrauterine pregnancies, the risk of an ectopic pregnancy is 10 times that of a nonuser. The risk is lower in copper IUDs suggesting that copper ions reduce the chance of fertilization in the Fallopian tubes. The risk of PID in IUD users ranges from 1.5-2.6. The majority of IUD associated PID occurs within 4 months following insertion and in nulliparous patients with several sexual partners.
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