18:30 PM

19-20 Segment 1: Can IUDs and Other Contraceptives Trigger Autoimmune Disease?

In a recent podcast episode, Radio Health Journal features Lisa R. Sammaritano, MD, rheumatologist at HSS, to discuss whether intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptives trigger autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.

Dr. Sammaritano said the various parts of our immune systems are meant to fight off such diseases and infections, however, “our immune systems can turn against us,” causing inflammation within the body. The reason why this happens is not completely understood. Furthermore, the role of IUDs and contraceptives as possible triggers of autoimmune disease is also undetermined. Dr. Sammaritano noted, “I had one patient who had a progesterone IUD placed and developed hair loss. It is pretty unusual side effect but it all got better when she had the IUD removed. I do think that IUDs, as with any medication, can cause side effects. But there really have not ever, been a suggestion that an IUD causes an autoimmune disease.”

Listen to the full interview at RadioHealthJournal.net.