Fractured copper intrauterine device (IUD) retained in the uterine wall leading to hysterectomy: A case report

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Several types of contraception methods exist, and among these are hormonal and non-hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs). Cases have been reported of fractured IUD pieces and retention of copper fragments upon attempted removal in office. These findings suggest the importance of careful removal of an IUD by providers. A 38-year-old Caucasian woman, gravida 2, para 2, presented for a colposcopy and endometrial biopsy (EMB). She had had a copper IUD (ParaGard) placed 10 years prior. She now requested to have it removed. After completion of the colposcopy and EMB, the provider located the IUD strings for removal. During careful removal of the IUD, a piece was broken off and remained in the uterine cavity. Upon visual inspection of the removed IUD, the right wing was missing and presumed to be still in the patient. Transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) confirmed presence of a portion of the IUD in the uterine wall near the cervix. The patient was scheduled for surgical removal of the IUD by robot-assisted total laparoscopic hysterectomy with bilateral salpingectomy. This case highlights the importance of thorough evaluation of an IUD upon removal. Practitioners who work with IUD insertion and removal should remain informed about this rare complication. Risk of fracture during IUD removal should be better communicated between physicians and patients. This case study underlines the importance of careful IUD planning, from insertion to removal. Further research considering improved stepwise removal should be considered.