I got an IUD and now they tell me I have a bicornuate uterus... Options?
February 26, 2013 12:57 PM   Subscribe

First of all, I got an IUD inserted last week. I was planning on paying out of pocket (I'm under my parent's insurance but for religious reasons didn't want to utilize it for fear of discovery), but is there any way to make it cheaper? Second, I went to a check-up appointment today and they told me that I have a bicornuate uterus (heart shaped, not totally split), something they didn't check for before they inserted the IUD. I was told the IUD wasn't in the correct location and would therefore be less effective. What are my options?

I'm going back in a week to see if the position of the IUD has changed (moved closer to the cervix?)

Also, should I seek reimbursement for the cost of the device?

For background, I'm a college student in Wisconsin. I'm aware of the family planning waiver program here, although I'm not sure whether it applies to me or if I could utilize it.
posted by pyrom to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
I don't know whether the religious issue is a "no sex before marriage" type or a "no birth control" type. If it's the former, you could tell your parents you got the IUD help with cramps or heavy periods - those are legitimate reasons to get an IUD, and I know people who have them for those reasons. Thus, insurance paying may be an option still.
posted by insectosaurus at 1:03 PM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]

If they told you the IUD would be less effective, it's basically not effective at all, so it needs to be placed properly. I assume they will unfuck that situation for you? You can't go around with an ineffective IUD, that doesn't make much sense to me. I have a bicornate uterus too and did not have any issue getting mine placed properly (which just so happens to be last week for me too). After the IUD was inserted, they did a sonogram to make sure it was in the correct place. My Dr., who is consistently rated one of the top ten gyno's in our major city, had no issue with my uterus shape and didn't express there would be problems placing the IUD correctly. If your Dr. tells you that it can't be done, you may want another opinion, because clearly it can be done properly. As for getting it cheaper, I would imagine that Planned Parenthood has a lower price, but it is too late for that given you have already had your IUD inserted. I imagine all you can do now given you won't be using your parent's insurance is to have a discussion with your Dr.'s office about a sliding scale.
posted by waving at 1:56 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

I also have a bicornuate uterus and cannot have an IUD. My understanding is that it depends on the severity of the abnormality whether one can be placed successfully or not.

OP, did you sign consent forms for the procedure? They may address your rights if you are not satisfied. I don't think it's something random people on the internet can answer for you.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 2:27 PM on February 26, 2013

IANYD but it is definitely not standard procedure to check for a bicornuate uterus prior to IUD insertion. It's a fairly unusual condition and checking for it can only be done with another procedure that would probably cost more than the IUD insertion, like a sonohysterogram, MRI, or hysterosalpingogram.

You may be able to work out a reduced cost for the IUD, but this is really something you should have looked into prior to having the procedure done, you might find it difficult to change the cost by doing anything aside from negotiating with the provider's billing office at this point (although you can definitely try that and it doesn't hurt to try to get it covered by insurance if that is an option considering insectosaurus' points).
posted by treehorn+bunny at 2:38 PM on February 26, 2013

[A couple comments deleted. Skip the snark or don't leave an answer.]
posted by cortex at 2:47 PM on February 26, 2013

You can also use birth control pills for cramps and other issues, not just birth control. So if you need to go on The Pill, this can be the reason.
posted by fifilaru at 3:22 PM on February 26, 2013

I'm not sure if this is part of what you are looking for, but the next choice after an IUD in terms of effectiveness is a contraceptive implant.
posted by Stewriffic at 3:37 PM on February 26, 2013

Not specific to WI, but you generally can't retroactively negotiate payment. That's usually in some of the paperwork you filled out pre-procedure/examination, but you should check. I used a family planning waiver in IL to get my IUD and it was pretty clear that it didn't cover retroactive procedures although it did cover maintenance going forward for the life of the waiver, so that's another thing to possible look into. I pretty much doubt that your doctor's office will reimburse you for the cost of the IUD even if it's ineffective although it'd be nice if they'd remove/adjust without extra charge.

You really need to find out whether you are a good candidate for an IUD in the first place and what your options are. I don't think it's odd that they didn't check for a bicornuate uterus but I think it's strange that no one told you until your follow up visit (and that your follow up vist ws a week later, but maybe that's a practice-related thing). I'm guessing you were a new patient -- did they examine you first?
posted by sm1tten at 4:54 PM on February 26, 2013

I'd be surprised if they could give you a direct refund, but it's worth asking. You could also ask for a very steep discount on a different contraceptive system to replace the IUD. Alternatives that you can ask for are Implanon, which is tiny little rods inserted just under the skin that last for 3-5 years, or the skin patch monthly contraceptive.

The two people I know with those chose them in part because they are discrete - the doctor put the Implanon under the arm and it's only visible if you press your fingers hard on the exact spot, otherwise pretty much impossible to see - and the patches look like a big bandaid and can go on the back or stomach, out of view with underwear.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:16 PM on February 26, 2013

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