Inserting an intrauterine device (IUD) is not a complex procedure and may take only a few minutes. An IUD is a small, T-shaped device made from plastic and copper that is placed in a woman's womb and provides contraceptive protection for up to 10 years.
- Before an IUD is fitted, a doctor or nurse may examine the vagina for proper positioning.
- The patient may be tested for any existing infections, such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and maybe given antibiotics if needed.
- Having an IUD fitted can be uncomfortable; the patient may be given local anesthesia to numb the pain.
- Having a coil fitted takes less than 10 minutes in the doctor’s clinic.
- A speculum is inserted into the vagina, and the coil is inserted through the cervix (neck of the womb).
- It can feel slightly uncomfortable and can cause some period-like pain afterward. However, painkillers can ease cramps. The patient may also bleed for a few days after having an IUD fitted.
- Once an IUD is fitted, it may need to be checked by a doctor after three to six weeks to make sure everything is fine.
How does an IUD work?
The basic mechanism of an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) is that it acts as a foreign body in the uterus. It invokes a strong reaction due to its presence and makes the uterine cavity hostile for the sperm. Newer intrauterine devices (IUDs) are loaded with progesterone that has an added advantage of thickening the cervical mucous and thinning the inner lining of the uterus. The IUD sits in the womb and does not move from there. It starts working as soon as it is put in and stops working as soon as it is taken out. The hormones can also stop the eggs from leaving the ovaries by avoiding ovulation and preventing pregnancy.
How is an intrauterine device removed?
Removing an intrauterine device (IUD) is a quick procedure; however, it should only be done by an experienced medical practitioner. Removing an IUD is usually less painful than putting it in:
- The doctor may ask the patient to lay on a table with knees bent and legs apart.
- The doctor may insert a speculum into the vagina to widen the opening.
- Threads from your IUD may hang out from the cervix (neck of the womb) into the vagina.
- The doctor may gently pull on the strings and pull out the device using a special grasping tool.
- An IUD is T-shaped, and its arms will fold up as it slides out.
- If the doctor can't see or reach the threads, they may use a special hook or other tools to pull them into view.
- In rare cases, an IUD won't come out easily because it may get stuck in the wall of the uterus. During such instances, the doctors usually give anesthesia to the patient and widen the cervix with forceps to pull it out. The doctor may use a thin, lighted scope to look inside the vagina and uterus to remove the IUD.
- The patient may feel mild cramps and spotting or light bleeding for a few days or weeks after the IUD comes out. An over-the-counter pain reliever is usually recommended for a few days.
Can I get pregnant even while using an intrauterine device?
Yes, but it is extremely rare. If the intrauterine device (IUD) isn't functioning properly or hasn't been put into place properly, the chances may go up. An IUD is extremely effective, having a 99% effectiveness rate. When getting an IUD, the patient may either get a non-hormonal IUD that lasts for up to 12 years or a hormonal IUD that usually lasts for two to six years. It should also be noted that IUDs do not offer protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs); hence, it is advised to use condoms for avoiding sexually transmitted diseases and nullifying the chances of getting pregnant.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top How Do You Get an Intrauterine Device? Related Articles
Birth Control OptionsBirth control is available in a variety of methods and types. The method of birth control varies from person to person, and their preferences to either become pregnant or not. Examples of barrier methods include barrier methods (sponge, spermicides, condoms), hormonal methods (pill, patch), surgical sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy), natural methods, and the morning after pill. Side effects and risks of each birth control option should be reviewed prior to using any birth control method.
Choosing Your Birth Control MethodWhich birth control option is right for you? Discover birth control methods such as birth control pills, birth control shot, implant, patch and more. Learn about birth control side effects and effectiveness.
Birth Control Pill vs. Depo-Provera ShotBirth control pills (oral contraceptives) and the Depo-Provera shot are two hormonal methods of birth control. Both methods work by changing the hormone levels in your body, which prevents pregnancy, or conception. Differences between "the pill" and "the shot." Birth control pills are available as combination pills, which contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, or mini-pills that only contain progestin. In comparison to the Depo-Provera injection, which prevents pregnancy for three consecutive months. Both methods of birth control are very effective in preventing pregnancy. Both the combination pill (if you take them as directed) and shot are up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. While the mini-pill is only about 95% effective in preventing pregnancy. Both methods cause weight gain, and have other similar side effects like breast pain, soreness or tenderness, headaches, and mood changes. They may lead to decreased interest in sex in some women. There are differences between the other side effects of these methods (depending upon the method) that include breakthrough bleeding or spotting, acne, depression, fatigue, and weakness. Both oral contraceptives and the Depo-Provera shot have health risks associated with them, such as, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and cervical cancer. Birth control pills appear to increase the risk of cervical cancer. Talk with your OB/GYN or other doctor or health care professional about which birth control method is right for you.
Birth Control Quiz: Test Your Medical IQWhat is the best form of birth control? Take this quiz to find out about hormonal, surgical, barrier, and natural methods!
DVT and Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives)Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that has traveled deep into the veins of the arm, pelvis, or lower extremities. Oral contraceptives or birth control pills can slightly increase a woman's risk for developing blood clots, including DVT. DVT symptoms and signs in the leg include leg or calf pain, redness, swelling, warmth, or leg cramps, and skin discoloration. If a blood clot in the leg is not treated, it can travel to the lungs, which can cause a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) or post-thrombotic syndrome, both of which can be fatal if not treated immediately. Increased risk factors for DVT and birth control pills include over 40 years of age, family history, smoking, and obesity. Other medical problems that increase the risks of blood clots, for example, lung or heart disease, or inflammatory bowel disease or IBD (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). Other options for preventing pregnancy include IUDs, birth control shots, condoms, diaphragms, and progestin-only oral contraceptives.
How Painful Is Getting an IUD?An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small T-shaped birth control device, about the size of a quarter, that is placed inside a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are one of the most popular contraceptive options for women. It is a reversible contraceptive, meaning it can be removed if pregnancy is desired. Modern-day IUDs are one of the safest and most effective birth control methods.
IUD (Intrauterine Device for Birth Control)
An IUD (intrauterine device) is a birth control method designed for a woman. The IUD is a small "T" made of molded polyethylene plastic coated with barium so that, if need be, it can be seen on X-ray.
There are two types of IUDs 1) Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) including the ParaGard, Copper 7, and Mini-7; and 2) Intrauterine system (IUS) including Progestasert and Mirena.
Side effects of the IUD include spotting, infection, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and heavy menstrual bleeding. Risks and complications of the IUD are miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, and increased menstrual bleeding.
Mirena Weight Gain: Do IUDs Cause Weight Gain?Nonhormonal IUDs generally do not cause any weight gain. Hormonal IUDs cause weight gain in about 5% of patients. As Mirena is a hormonal IUD, there are chances of weight gain. This weight gain is mainly due to the hormone progestin that causes water retention and bloating.
What Are the Symptoms of a Moved IUD?An intrauterine device or IUD is a popular birth control device. Symptoms of a moved IUD include being able to feel the IUD with your fingers or during sex, painful intercourse, abdominal cramping, foul-smelling vaginal discharge and fever.
What Does Birth Control Do to Your Body?Different birth control methods work in different manners. No birth control method is perfect and every procedure or method has a side effect.
What Is the Best Form of Birth Control?What's "best" among birth control methods differs from person to person. What's right for one person may not be right for others. And a person’s needs may also change over time.
Which Birth Control Has Least Side Effects?No form of birth control is free of side effects, but there are some that have the least noticeable ones.