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What to Expect During an IUD Insertion?

28 Dec 2021
What to Expect During an IUD Insertion?

Among all available options of birth control, IUDs are known as one of the most effective and popular products in the medical field. They last for a long time, there are two options available for different women (hormonal and copper), and the procedure overall is not too complicated.

Many professionals recommend learning more about the product and procedure itself before the injection in order to avoid unpleasant surprises and misunderstandings in the doctor’s office. DKdermal experts would recommend having a talk with a medical professional as well to discuss the best variant to prevent pregnancy, which would be suitable precisely in your case.

In today’s article, we would like to discuss all the most important nuances of the IUD device, so you won’t need to search for information on your own for a long time. Stay with us and learn together with DKdermal!

What Is an IUD?

What Is an IUD?

An IUD (stands for Intrauterine Device) is a tiny, plastic, T-shaped device meant for pregnancy protection in women. It is intended to be inserted inside the uterus, but don’t be scared – this process is not painful at all! If a doctor is a skilled professional with rich experience, they should perform this procedure fast and easily.

There are two main types of IUDs – hormonal and copper. Patients typically prefer hormonal ones; however, if there are any adverse reactions to the progestin (a hormone that helps prevent pregnancy), a copper one is picked as an alternative. Copper devices are mainly represented by the Paragard brand, while the most famous hormonal ones are Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla.

Copper IUDs can remain effective for up to 12 years, and hormonal ones vary depending on the brand – from 3 to 7 years. Due to the long-acting effect, IUDs became so popular among women. They are more comfortable, protect 99% of the time, and don’t affect women’s hormonal system as much as, for example, contraceptive pills.

Can I put IUD Hormonal Contraception Inside on My Own?

No, million times no. The insertion process may be performed by a doctor ONLY. The conditions must also be sterile, so the clinic is the best and safe option out there.

Before the actual procedure, a health care provider has to ask you questions about your medical history, health peculiarities, special body features, and so on. They also have to check your vagina, cervix, and uterus before the insertion to see whether the device can be used safely. A special test for STDs is required as well.

Before placing an IUD, a nurse or doctor has to put a speculum inside and insert the device through the cervix to the uterus. Women may experience slight discomfort, but the procedure usually takes not more than 15 minutes so that it won’t last long.

Is the Process of Putting an IUD in Painful?

A comparison of the expected and actual pain may vary a little bit. Typically, women don’t expect severe pain or something that is impossible to tolerate. However, they may experience cramping or slight pain; it is still possible.

Some medical professionals recommend taking pain medication like ibuprofen before the insertion to eliminate discomfort during a procedure. They can also administer local anesthetic around the cervix to make the process easier.

The cases of dizziness and even fainting during and after the procedures were registered, so it would be better to have someone nearby to walk/drive you home after the procedure.

Adverse Reactions You Should Be Aware Of

The body reactions after putting intrauterine contraceptives vary depending on such aspects as one’s health condition, body peculiarities, age, and so on. So while ones feel perfectly fine and can continue their daily routine without hesitation, others need some time off to wait for all post-procedure symptoms to disappear.

The most typical reactions include cramping and backaches, and those can be controlled with the help of over-the-counter pain medications and special heating pads placed on the back or lower stomach.

Slight spotting may also occur even if a woman is not on her period (this may continue up to six months). Some individuals also experience lighter or heavier bleeding during periods; changes in the menstrual cycle are normal for this type of birth control as well.

After the insertion, a short string will come out of the cervix to the vagina, but most patients don’t even notice that. Such placement of an IUD helps a nurse or a doctor reach the device when it needs to be pulled out or replaced. Do not try to do it yourself; otherwise, you may cause serious damage to a cervical canal and internal pelvic organs.

During the first three months after the procedure, there is a slight chance of the device falling out. Typically, it happens during periods, so it is better to check the pad, cup, etc., to make sure it is still there.

When Can I Have Sex?

After inserting intrauterine devices, it is possible to start being sexually active right after. Specialists recommend waiting for a day or two for patients who experience painful sensations and cramping after the appointment.

However, there are a few nuances. If copper IUDs start working right after Mirena inserted, hormonal IUDs need some time to start working. Until there is an optimal level of the hormone progestin in the body, it is better to use backup contraception (e.g., condoms). Doctors recommend doing it for approximately seven days after the device administration.

Side Effects of the Intrauterine Device

As with every method of birth control, there are some side effects that may occur after the injection. They are pretty similar in spite of the type (hormonal or copper), as well as on one’s health and body peculiarities. It is better to be aware of those in order to avoid dangerous health issues and conditions that can be harmful to one’s well-being.

  • Changes in the menstrual cycle;
  • Heavy bleeding or, in some patients, much lighter;
  • Cramps and severe PMS;
  • Complete disappearance of periods;
  • Light bleeding (spotting) between periods;
  • Irregular periods.

Normally, it takes approximately three to six months for the body to get used to a new device fully. Till that happens, healthcare professionals recommend taking over-the-counter painkillers to reduce unpleasant sensations. If any symptoms last longer than half a year, or if an IUD causes extreme pain and discomfort, it is recommended to contact the doctor to get proper advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

If you suspect that something doesn’t work properly and you may be pregnant – take a pregnancy test and contact a professional right away if it is positive. Ectopic pregnancy may be very dangerous, so medical attention and a doctor’s help are required right away.

Contact your doctor if the test is negative, but an IUD still feels strange or wrong inside. Chances are it can be just misplaced, so a professional has to have a look and put it properly. This procedure is not lengthy, but you will avoid different dangerous conditions by doing this.

Can Everyone Use an IUD as One of the Birth Control Methods?

An IUD is a unique method of pregnancy prevention and can be used practically by any type of patient. To make sure it is safe for precisely your case, have a pelvic exam in the doctor’s office, as well as do all required medical tests in the clinic.

But as it happens with any type of medications or medical devices, there are some exceptions. People with the following issues cannot use IUDs:

  • Any type of STDs or a pelvic inflammatory disease;
  • Possible pregnancy;
  • Breast, cervical or uterus cancer;
  • Bleeding disorder;
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding;
  • Allergies to any components of the device (copper or progestin hormone);
  • Recent pelvic infection caused by giving birth or abortion (last 3 months).

Don’t get upset if an IUD is not the right option for you. There are plenty of options on the market so that you can choose a perfect one together with your doctor.

Benefits of an IUD

  • An IUD is one of the most effective methods of contraception. They are working 99% of the time because, unlike some other option, you cannot just forget to use it;
  • It can improve one’s periods. With the help of this device, it is possible to make cramps better and make periods lighter. In some cases, periods can disappear completely;
  • It doesn’t affect one’s fertility. After removing an IUD, it is possible to start getting pregnant right away. Mind that some time is needed in order for a hormone to disappear from the body fully;
  • A copper IUD is a perfect emergency contraception option. Get one within 5 days after unprotected sex, and reduce the risk of getting pregnant almost completely;
  • An IUD is long-term birth control. Hormonal ones stay effective for up to 7 years, while copper ones may do their work for more than 10 years.

Disadvantages of the Intrauterine Device

  • IUDs are not effective against STDs. That means, in case you don’t have a permanent partner, it is better to use condoms for your own safety;
  • The insertion may be painful. Of course, we are not talking about the sharp pain, and a local anesthetic is always an option, but people with low pain tolerance should be ready for some unpleasant sensations;
  • Some side effects may last longer than usual. Such symptoms as spotting and cramps last for up to six months, but that’s entirely normal for this device.

The Bottom Line

IUDs are among the most effective and popular methods of contraception known out there. It is a great helper for planned parenthood, as well as a solution to some women’s health problems. The device comes in two variations – copper and hormonal – and the perfect one is picked depending on one’s health peculiarities and needs.

In our article, we tried to discuss all essential aspects of an IUD, so you have a better understanding of the product, as well as about how exactly it can be useful. In case you still have questions, you can always talk to a medical professional to discuss details that we may have missed. Thank you for reading. Stay safe!


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