This Viral Photo Made People Freak Out About Getting Pregnant From An IUD

A viral Facebook photo showing a baby holding an IUD in his tiny hand has a lot of people doing a double take this week.

A woman in Alabama named Lucy Hellein posted the now-deleted photo of her newborn son on Facebook, captioning it “Mirena fail!” Since his original due date was May 4th, she included a reference to the famous Star Wars quote with the cheeky (yet accurate!) hashtag, “The force was strong with this one.”

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The photo was shared thousands of times online—but many people were left wondering if it was real. After all, an IUD is more than 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, according to Planned Parenthood. As Hellein told Florida’s First Coast News, the picture is indeed real, but staged—a nurse actually placed the IUD in her son’s hand after it was found during her C-section. 

Speculations have been swirling around recent photo of a newborn holding an #iud. In fact, the picture (shown above) is REAL! Lucy Hellein's son, Dexter, was not born with the IUD in his hand, however, Hellein informed reporters that doctors discovered the IUD in her placenta during her c-section. It was later placed in her son's hand as a sort of tongue-in-cheek nod to conceiving while having an IUD in. The viral image has now been shared over 62,000 times. Dexter Tyler was born on April 27 — just a week shy of his original due date — and weighed 9 lbs 1 oz. He has since been nicknamed the "Mirena Baby." Mirena, is said to have a 99 percent effectiveness rate in preventing unwanted pregnancy. Doctors were aware of the IUD in her uterus throughout her pregnancy, but Hellein said when they went to remove it, they could not find it. Soon after, Hellein's friend snapped this adorable photo. Congrats to Lucy and her healthy new baby boy! #iud #lucyhellein #mirena #contraceptive #mirenafail #iudbaby #instagood #mirenababy #adorable #happybirthday #newborn #instababies #instabirth #instabirthday #miraclebaby #epicfail #trending #viral #dexter #checkthisout #believeit #shocking #csection #dextertyler #mothers #sons #hellein #birthcontrol #conception #instanews @thehype_daily

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Still, the idea that a woman got pregnant with an IUD is more than alarming for anyone who relies on this form of birth control, which is rapidly rising in popularity. An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a small, T-shaped piece of flexible plastic that’s inserted into a woman’s uterus during a quick procedure. A hormonal IUD, like the Mirena, which Hellein had, works to prevent pregnancy by releasing the hormone progestin, which thickens the mucus in the cervix to stop sperm from fertilising an egg. It also keeps the lining of the uterus thin so it’s not a hospitable environment for fertilisation, explains Sherry A. Ross, M.D., women’s health expert and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period.

“If they’re inserted correctly, they are 99.9 percent effective—more effective than a vasectomy,” Ross explains. So how did this  happen? “This IUD may not have been inserted correctly or may have displaced itself after being inserted,” Ross says. While uncommon, it can happen. That’s why Ross uses an ultrasound to help ensure an IUD is placed in the right location. You can also check that it’s still in place every month after your period by feeling for the strings, and watching out for any irregular bleeding or pelvic pain, which can be a sign it’s been displaced, Ross says.

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The bottom line: Don’t let this one scenario scare you away from using an IUD. “They’re a very safe, effective, and efficient form of birth control for women, especially those who are sensitive to hormones,” Ross says. Bonus: “They also make periods lighter or even non-existent.” That’s a win-win in our book.

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