Back pain due to IUD?

My wife has recently gotten an IUD and, coincidentally, has been complaining about an increase in (lower) back pain. She did some poking around on the net and found a bunch of people who claimed some link between the two (I believe entirely anecdotal, not medical information). Can this possibly be right? What on earth (or, more accurately, in her body) would cause this?

Some possibly relevant information:
[li]When she sits for a time at her desk and then stands up, it seems to be aggravated.[/li][li]She had some minor back pain before getting the IUD, but nothing that she’d complain about.[/li][li]She goes to the gym and does yoga, but the pain doesn’t affect her then (i.e., it’s not due to physical exertion).[/li][li]The pain is worse when she bends backward than forward.[/li][/ul]
Any information would be appreciated – a link between the two makes no sense to me.

OB-GYN nurse here (with an IUD).

It seems unlikely and only coincidental that the two occurred at about the same time (you metioned she had some LBP prior to insertion of the IUD).

I can’t think of any reason that having an IUD in place should cause back pain if there was no difficulty with placing the device. There are no nerves between the interior of the uterus and, say, the abdomen or back, etc. and the device is quite small and a uterus is not on organ that complains of pain alot.

If she would like to be sure about the placement of the IUD, the Doc (if an OB-GYN) can likely give her a quick ultrasound in the office to check on it.

There is a small chance of uterine rupture during placement, and of the device becoming ‘implanted’ into uterine wall after placement. I’d expect a complaint of pain and bleeding in the first case. In the case of an IUD becoming implanted- that seems to occur on IUDs that have been in for a long time. I’ve only met one patient who had this happen, and we were still able to pull the device in the clinic without too much fuss.

Does she have any vaginal discharge or odor that would make you suspect an infection? Urinary tract complaints? Does the pain seem deep or shallow or musculo-skeletal? Does it hurt when you or she presses on the area where her uterus is (low front middle, around the bladdar area)? Is the pain constant or does it come and go? I ask that because you said she doesn’t have pain when doing yoga or exercising, but I wonder it that is because she is distracted or concentrating on other things.

Again, certainly a check up would be an easy way to check on the IUD, uterus, and ovaries and ease her mind about it.

That’s pretty much what I figured, but certainly trust answers here more than random google links/net testimony or my own ignorance regarding the female inner-workings. And no, no troubles with the placement; it all went very smoothly (as I’m given to understand).

No symptoms other than the pain, which she says is deep and fairly strong at times. At this point, she’s just guessing as to what may be the cause – the IUD is the only thing that has happened recently that was out of the ordinary. She said that if the pain persists through this coming week, she’s going to make a doctor’s appointment, which of course is best.

Thanks for the info – I’ll relay it and hope we find out what’s going on.

Is the IUD a Mirena device?

Low back pain is a recognised side effect of the device, thought to be caused by the progesterone’s local effects on the ligaments surrounding the uterus.

Progesterone can cause both muscle relaxation and slight bloating/water retention. This can put more stress on the lower back area, but simple measures such as maintaining good posture, changing position often and using a cushion to support the lower back usually help.

If not a Mirena device, this won’t be the cause as other IUDs don’t contain progesterone.

Seeing a doctor, if only for reassurance, would do no harm either way.

Irishgirl- a medical student who has spent the last 2 months in OB/Gyn clinics watching while the docs explained possible side effects of Mirena before they inserted it.

It is indeed a Mirena. I knew I forgot to add something to that list.

Interesting. I’m so glad I posted. I’m a little surprised that she and I didn’t know this was a noted side-effect – obviously, she had a bunch of discussions with the doctor and I read all the pamphlets she brought home. Must’ve missed that bit.

I suggested that we should buy a better chair for her desk, which would probably help no matter what the cause. She also doesn’t keep the best posture – the other day she asked me to point out when I notice that she’s slouching. Do you happen to know of any particular exercises that are recommended for strengthening the related back muscles? She’s certainly in good shape, but targeting a specific muscle group might help…

Her yoga or gym instructor would probably be more helpful with the back exercises.

The one’s that our docs recommend are:

1)Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor (like you were about to do a sit up), and your hands folded on your stomach. Breathe out, and pull your stomach in towards your backbone for the count of 10, without shifting position of the hips. Repeat 10 times, 3 times a day.

  1. Lie face down with your arms above your head and your legs straight. Breathe out and slowly lift your arms and legs off the floor, so your spine forms a C-shape. hold for a count of 10, and lower slowly back to the floor. Repeat 5 times, 3 times a day.

They’re both very gentle exercises that are also used to help relieve low back pain in pregnancy or shortly after giving birth, but like I say, your wife’s gym or yoga instructors would probably be able to help more. Pilates is also good for posture and mechanical back pain, if your wife fancies adding something new to her exercise regime.

Anyhow, seeing a doctor to rule out anything more serious wouldn’t hurt…just because the progesterones in Mirena CAN cause lower back pain, doesn’t mean that it’s responsible in this case.

and I learn something new, too!