Mum ‘shocked’ her contraceptive coil was found in placenta after she gave birth

Laura Hampson
·3-min read
Claire Cowen fell pregnant with Lewis while using an IUD (SWNS)
Claire Cowen fell pregnant with Lewis while using an IUD (SWNS)

A mum, who fell pregnant despite using birth control, was “shocked” to discover her contraceptive coil was in her baby’s placenta when she gave birth.

Claire Cowen, 34, had been using a non-hormonal coil for three years when she discovered she was 13 weeks pregnant with her little boy, Lewis, now 15 months.

Cowen had still been getting periods with the coil fitted, but when they stopped suddenly in March 2019, she decided to take a pregnancy test.

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It came back positive and a doctors appointment confirmed she was 13 weeks pregnant. “I couldn’t believe it, I knew there was a tiny chance of falling pregnant but you never think it will happen,” added Cowen, who has two other children - Craig, 16, and Lucy, six.

"We didn't plan to have more children but we were excited when we found out. However I didn't realise there could be complications because of the coil."

Baby Lewis was born in November 2019 (SWNS)
Baby Lewis was born in November 2019 (SWNS)

The mum-of-three was told that the coil was sitting tilted above her cervix and doctors couldn’t remove it in case it accidentally ruptured the baby’s amniotic sac.

Cowen was closely monitored during her pregnancy but doctors couldn’t guarantee her baby would survive if the coil worked its way into the sac - all she could do was “wait and see”.

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Cowen, a social worker, from Penicuik, Scotland, said: “It was the most stressful, scary few months of my life. We had no idea how it would go or if my little boy would survive.

“All the stories I could find were about women losing babies when they fell pregnant with the coil. It didn't fill me with hope but I remained positive and Lewis arrived safely - he's my little miracle."

Lewis, who weighed a healthy 6lb 3oz when born, is now 15 months old (SWNS)
Lewis, who weighed a healthy 6lb 3oz when born, is now 15 months old (SWNS)

Lewis arrived in November 2019, at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, weighing a healthy 6lb 3oz.

"He was absolutely fine which was a relief,” Cowen continued. "Straight after he arrived the nurse spotted the coil stuck in the placenta - it was quite a shocking sight."

According to the NHS, Intrauterine devices (IUD) or the 'coil', are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

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Cowen added: "There's a higher risk of miscarriage or premature birth while pregnant with the coil. I want to share a positive story to show women it is possible for there to be a happy ending when an unexpected pregnancy happens on the coil.

“I know we were one of the lucky ones but babies can survive and Lewis is doing well. It's incredibly scary but babies can survive and we were so lucky with Lewis."

Additional reporting by SWNS.

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