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Are intrauterine devices (IUD) only recommended in monogamy?

Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
This is a very debatable subject. A lot of physicians do not feel comfortable placing IUDs in young, unmarried patients. I counsel my single patients extensively on the risks of the IUD usage. If a patient contracts a sexually-transmitted infection and has an IUD in place, then this can cause severe scarring and inflammation in the uterus and possibly causing permanent scarring in the fallopian tubes and infertility. Because of this, I think patients who are not in monogamous relationship should be counseled extensively, but I do believe that these patients are candidates for IUDs.

Intrauterine devices do not protect against STDs and are therefore only recommended to women who are monogamous and know the sexual history of their partners. In the 1970s, doctors thought there was a correlation between contraction of STDs, especially pelvic inflammatory disease, and use of IUDs. However, the medical community now knows that having several sexual partners is what spreads STDs, not the use of IUDs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.