One of the greatest things about being Twitter’s resident OB/GYN is people send me crazy news stories that overlap with reproductive health as they are breaking. More often than not it is a story about some bizarre thing one shouldn’t put in one’s vagina, but today’s treat was a little different. This morning Alexandra Svokos sent me a nugget of information about Ivana Trump. Apparently the first Mrs. ex Donald Trump feels we Americans need to know that she says she got pregnant three times with an IUD in place.

Trump IUD.jpg

So we are going to discuss IUDs and Trump sperm. Yes, I threw up in my mouth a little as well (and I guess one could say this post is still on theme about things one shouldn’t put in one’s vagina).

IUD failures are possible although rare with modern IUDs. The failure rates with the two modern American IUDs are very low, 0.1% in the first year with the levonorgestrel IUD and 0.8% with the copper. These IUDs perform very well over time and the failure rates do not go up, so don’t freak out too much about the Trump IUD failures.

Ivana’s IUDs (a sentence I truly never thought I would write, but I guess less bizarre than Trump sperm) would not have been the levonorgestrel IUD because she finished childbearing in 1984 and that IUD didn’t hit the market until 1990. We did have the Progestasert back in the day (a progesterone IUD), but it wasn’t very popular so it seems unlikely she would have used it. As a woman with money and a frequently traveler to Europe Ivana would not have been limited to the slim American IUD market of the late 70s and early 80s. She could have had one of a gazillion IUDs that were likely available at the time in Europe. Okay maybe not a gazillion, but there are about 30 or 40 IUDs (probably more) that have come and gone in Europe over the years while we have limped along in the U.S. with less than a handful.

Some European IUDs have a lower surface area of copper (defined as < 300 mm squared) which may impart a slightly higher failure rate, but we are still talking about failure rates of < 2%.

So why do IUDs fail? Well, not everything is perfect. Some failures are actually unrecognized expulsions. Sometimes the IUD slips down a little in the uterus so it isn’t in an ideal spot and if a copper IUD is sitting too low then there may not be enough copper in the Fallopian tubes to nuke any sperm that shoots past. If someone has a fibroid or a uterine anomaly the IUD may never have be positioned quite right to begin with. A low position may be a risk factor for failure although it may be less of a concern for the levonorgestrel IUD as that works on cervical mucus, but obvious if this happens to you then you need a discussion with your doctor about what is best for you! This is something that requires individualized management.

But three IUDs failing? Three separate devices failing three times? If I had a patient who failed an IUD twice I would definitely start looking for reasons, like a fibroid or a uterine anomaly. If I had a patient who had failed an IUD twice today I would likely suggest a different option.

The spacing between the end of Ivana’s first pregnancy (Donald Jr. in December 1977) and when she would have likely conceived Ivanka (early 1981) is about three years. If no other hormonal contraception was an option (birth control pills were higher dose then) and we all know 1979 Donald Trump hated condoms then it might have been reasonable to go with another IUD even after the second one failed as she did get three years of contraception out of the post-Donald Jr. device. Complex contraception needs (i.e. a woman who has failed an IUD twice and a male partner uwilling to wear a condom) requires individualized management.

Obviously this is all hypothetical as I have not seen any medical records, so who really knows? However, what I want to know is why tell us? I mean who cares about the Trump reproductive history of the late 70s and early 80s? How is my life and now yours enriched for knowing that if Ivana has indeed provided correct medical information that there is a something like a 0.0008% chance that she conceived three times with an IUD? I can think of two possibilities:

  1. Trumps are so super special! You had one pregnancy with an IUD, well I had three!! Putin may ride around shirtless  on his horse and lift weights and wrestle bears, but The Donald, our President, has super-duper IUD busting sperm coming out of his Trump tower.
  2. An anti-abortion dog whistle. Three unplanned pregnancies and no abortions! While Donald may have been worried about what happened if Donald Jr. became a loser at least he made good on those unplanned pregnancies!

So there you have it. More than you could have ever wanted to know about what I think about Ivana Trump’s IUDs.

Join the Conversation


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. I think she’s trying to push the narrative that birth control is unreliable and the whole idea of “planned parenthood” is unrealistic. Also maybe suppressed hostility at her kids (the IUD thing might be a lie but I bet it’s true she didn’t want to get pregnant just then, if at all). But isn’t pregnancy with an IUD in place considered high risk?

  2. I am afraid there is more than one clown under that big white circus tent. And in any case I have no expectation that she is accurate or honest. She’s a flake who was married to a flake

  3. Dr. Gunter-you always make my day, but today was exceptional! I nearly murphed my coffee reading “…threw up in my mouth, too…”! And “What not to put in your vagina.” regarding “Trump’s Tower”!! Thank you for all you do!

  4. A highly informative, if disturbing, post.

    Not for the IUD stuff, obviously, but for the image that came into my head (scuse the accidental pun) of millions upon millions of badly-combovered, sulky-faced mini-Trumps swimming along a birth canal.

  5. Suggestion: Rewrite this same post three times without expanding any of the content, : Once as a mentor, to a colleague writing to you with the intention of establishing credibility based on knowledge and experience. Once as you, writing to a colleague and having the same intent.. Once to yourself, as the intended audience. I’d be interested in learning what you would write in any of those 3 scenarios. And if any seem vastly different, I’d be thrilled to know why.
    Alan Harris B.Sc., MBA (McMaster University)
    London Ontario

  6. Brings to mind my favorite 1971 graffiti. Nixon should withdraw like his father should have.

%d bloggers like this: