ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Unplanned pregnancy, coloured ultrasound scan. The pregnancy developed in the uterus (red) despite the presence of an intra-uterine device (IUD). An IUD is a small coil that is placed in the uterus. It is designed to prevent the embryo implanting in the wall of the uterus. The failure rate is around 2-3 percent and it is normally an effective method of contraception. If no abortion is planned, then the IUD should be removed by pulling the strings hanging down into the vagina. Otherwise, there is an increased chance of a miscarriage or premature birth. However, if the IUD cannot be removed, the pregnancy often proceeds to full-term, and the IUD does not harm the baby.
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