Intrauterine Device (IUD)

 

An IUD is a tiny device that's inserted in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. It's long-term, reversible, and one of the most effective birth control methods.  The device prevents pregnancy by changing the way sperm move so they can't get to an egg.

 

The Mirena IUD uses the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy. Progestin is very similar to the hormone progesterone that our bodies make naturally. The Mirena IUDs prevent pregnancy in two ways: 1) they thicken the mucus that lives on the cervix, which blocks and traps the sperm, and 2) the hormones also sometimes stop eggs from leaving your ovaries (called ovulation), which means there's no egg for a sperm to fertilize.

 

 

How is an IUD inserted?

After your medical history has been cleared the doctor will insert a speculum in your vagina and then use a special inserter to put the IUD through the opening of your cervix and into your uterus. The process usually takes less than five minutes.

IUDs can be inserted at any time of the month.

 

Does it hurt to have an IUD inserted?

 

Most women get cramps or feel a little bit of pain when they're getting the IUD inserted, but many only have mild discomfort. The pain can be worse for some, but luckily it only lasts for a minute or two.  You may take pain killers before you get the IUD to help prevent cramps.  Depending on your pain threshold it may be advisable to have someone accompany you to the clinic and take you home in you are feeling anxious.

 

Post IUD insertion procedure?

 

Many women feel perfectly fine right after the procedure, although there can be some cramping and backaches, rest at home after your appointment — iand take pain killers to help relieve any cramping.

 

You may have cramping and spotting after getting an IUD, but this almost always goes away within 3-6 months. Hormonal IUDs eventually make periods lighter and less crampy, and you might stop getting a period at all. If your IUD is causing you pain, discomfort, or side effects you don't like, call your doctor.

 

Once you get the IUD, a string about 1 or 2 inches long will come out of your cervix and into the top of your vagina.  The string is there so the doctor can remove the IUD later.   There's a very small chance that your IUD could slip out of place. It can happen any time, but it's more common during the first 3 months. IUDs are most likely to come out during your period.  If your IUD falls out, you're NOT protected from pregnancy, so make sure to go see your doctor, and use condoms or another kind of birth control in the meantime.

Not down when you had your IUD inserted for replacement purposes.  Mirena should be replaced after 6 years.

 

How soon after getting an IUD can I have sex?

You can have sex as soon as you want after getting an IUD.

 

You might need to use a backup method of birth control (like condoms) until the IUD starts to work — whether you're protected against pregnancy right away depends on what type of IUD you get and when it's put in.  Your doctor will inform you at your appointment.

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