Prince Albert + IUD = trouble?
September 21, 2010 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Prince Albert + IUD = trouble?

Mrs. Anonymous just got an IUD (Mirena). I have a Prince Albert piercing. Is this likely to cause any trouble of the...ummm...entangling variety? (I've seen the previous question about PAs and NuvaRing--the NuvaRing doesn't have dangly bits, though, which is what I'm concerned about.) We will, of course, be asking her doctor, but would like to hear from the community as well.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My partner doesn't have a PA, but I can tell you that the strings kind of curl up on themselves, and I don't think they should present a problem. If they're trimmed properly (and Mrs. Anon's GYN should be happy to trim them a bit if they're obtrusive), they should be totally unnoticeable. The dangly bits are not terribly dangly.

My suggestion would be to check the Livejournal boards for IUDs, which are a great source of all kinds of information one might not think to ask about, and perhaps someone has had your same question and found an answer.
posted by padraigin at 8:27 PM on September 21, 2010

The IUD is going way up in her uterus, whereas the NuvaRing is, like, right there.

Unless you're penetrating her cervix (which is basically unheard of), you should be okay.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:32 PM on September 21, 2010

Unless you're penetrating her cervix (which is basically unheard of), you should be okay.

Sys Rq - FYI, the IUD usually has a string hanging out to allow for later removal. That's the part Anon is worried about.

Seconding a call to Mrs. Anon's GYN to ask how to help the IUD and the PA coexist -- or if anything needs to be done in the first place. Also -- the area around the cervix can allow for all kinds of nooks for things to nestle in, and it gets wet in there, which could help the dangly, stick in place out of the way.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:47 PM on September 21, 2010

Don't let that Grey's Anatomy episode scare you -- this is a pretty unlikely scenario, but it is possible.

Most of the time, the IUD's strings will eventually curl up around the os or retract into the cervix. This takes a couple months, though, and requires the strings to be sufficiently short. Sometimes the strings don't get sufficiently trimmed until one's post-insertion follow-up visit. When Mrs. Anon sees her GYN/whatever practitioner inserted the IUD next, they'll be able to get a better idea of what's going on in there. Some doctors will want to keep the strings long-ish so that she can easily check to make sure that the IUD is still in place, though.

Seriously, though, it's actually not difficult to pull an IUD out as long as there's sufficient force or suction involved, nor is it typically as painful as insertion. It's something that usually happens in the context of menstrual cup removal and things getting caught on other things. If Mrs. Anon is nulliparous, she's at a somewhat higher risk of expulsion, so that's something to keep in mind.
posted by thisjax at 9:07 PM on September 21, 2010

tl;dr -- you should be okay if her strings are out of the way, but long strings could be a cause for concern.
posted by thisjax at 9:11 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

She can ask her OB/GYN to cut the strings really short.
posted by halogen at 11:36 PM on September 21, 2010

Unless you're penetrating her cervix (which is basically unheard of), you should be okay.
This is untrue. As has been stated, the question is about the strings which extend out of the cervix into the vagina.

It's something that usually happens in the context of menstrual cup removal
I didn't understand this.

I agree that the strings, if fairly short, are unlikely to catch on your piercing. Your partner can and should check the strings herself. The easiest way is to squat down (which, for most women, makes reaching the cervix easier) and reach two fingers into her vagina and feel for her cervix. She should feel the ends of the strings there. If she's comfortable with it, you could do the same thing with your fingers. Doing this might help both of you feel less anxious about this issue.

Also keep in mind, the worst-case scenario here is that you do accidentally yank out her IUD. That may be somewhat uncomfortable, and will leave you without birth control until you buy some condoms or get a new IUD placed or whatever, but is not actually a big deal from a medical perspective.
posted by serazin at 11:52 PM on September 21, 2010

thisjax: It's something that usually happens in the context of menstrual cup removal.

serazin: I didn't understand this.

A "menstrual cup" is a doohickey kind of like a diaphragm that is used to catch the menstrual blood and hold it until you can empty it out, rather than letting it flow into a pad or a tampon. Think like a little plastic bucket in your nethers.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:08 AM on September 22, 2010

What guage is your jewelry?
posted by WeekendJen at 5:37 AM on September 22, 2010

I've used a menstrual cup, I just didn't understand the sentence. I've re-read the sentence now though, and I think I get what is being said: That accidentally yanking the IUD can happen when removing a menstrual cup. I've never heard of that happening but it sounds possible, if unlikely!
posted by serazin at 8:52 AM on September 22, 2010

@ serazin: Actually, it's easy enough to dislodge an IUD while removing a menstrual cup that many/most women who get an IUD (including myself) are specifically cautioned against using a menstrual cup. The problem isn't from getting the strings tangled with the cup and yanking it out that way; it's that if you use a menstrual cup properly, the edges of the cup form a sort of a vacuum seal with the top/sides of the vagina (otherwise the blood would just leak out). But the vacuum can be strong enough to dislodge the IUD from the uterus and cause expulsion.

@ the OP: I am sorry that I not only participated in the derail, but also can't help you with your problem -- good luck though :)
posted by kataclysm at 9:43 AM on September 22, 2010

If the strings aren't long enough, they won't curl up properly and they'll be more in the way, so don't be in a rush to get the chopped really short.
posted by Salamandrous at 9:45 AM on September 22, 2010

She should talk to her doctor about having the strings cut short. You should be fine though, regardless.
posted by floweredfish at 9:16 AM on September 23, 2010

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