What IUD insertion aftercare looks like and other important information
Whether you’re getting a hormonal or copper Intrauterine Device (IUD), knowing IUD insertion aftercare is an important part of making the procedure go as smoothly as possible.
At Dr. Lona Sasser Obstetrics & Gynecology, we have inserted IUDs for many women and know that aftercare is not to be overlooked. If you are in the Coral Springs area and are curious about IUDs, you can always schedule an appointment with us. And for those not in the area or just are curious about IUD insertion aftercare, we have put together a quick overview of what to expect and what to do.
The actual insertion of an IUD differs for every woman. Some may experience pain, while others may not feel much at all. We have seen some women experience immediate cramping, pain, dizziness, or fatigue during the procedure but that does not mean you will.
The procedure for inserting an IUD generally takes less than five minutes. Using a speculum, your doctor opens the vaginal walls, and then uses a tool to insert the IUD through your cervical opening into your uterus.
IUDs are well known for their little strings that hang down through the cervix into the vagina. Once the IUD is in place, the strings are trimmed down close to the tip of the IUD.
What to Expect: IUD Insertion Aftercare
If possible, arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure. We also recommend planning your appointment so that you can take time to rest afterward. Though some women don’t experience much pain or discomfort after the procedure, it is very possible that you may experience cramping, irregular bleeding or spotting. You can help mitigate pain and cramping with ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or by using heat pads or hot water bottles on your abdomen.
IUD insertion aftercare for both types of IUDs are the same for the first 24 hours: abstain from taking baths, swimming, using tampons or menstrual cups, and vaginal intercourse. After the first 24 hours, vaginal intercoruse is safe: the copper IUD (non-hormnal) begins working immediately after insertion but the hormonal IUD takes a week (7 days) to establish contraceptive efficacy, so make sure you plan to use other contraceptive methods during this time to avoid pregnancy. IUDs do not protect against STIs.
Heavier bleeding and more painful cramps are common for the first 3-6 months of IUD insertion. With the hormonal IUD, this lessens over time, and some may stop having their periods after 1-2 years. However, with the copper IUD, your periods may continue to stay heavy as long as you have it inserted.
You can check for the strings of your IUD by inserting your fingers up your vaginal canal and feel for the cervix. Sometimes they are hard to find, but if you find your cervix (feels like the tip of your nose), the strings should be there.
You should see a doctor if…
If you are not experiencing any extreme pain or symptoms and can feel your strings, you are OK, though you can definitely request an IUD insertion aftercare follow-up appointment at any time! However, if you experience fever, chills, or sharp pain in the first three weeks, or if at any time you think you may be pregnant, miss your period (if you have periods), think you have been exposed to an STI, or have foul-smelling discharge, contact a doctor immediately.