Intrauterine devices (or IUDs) are a highly-effective birth control method. IUDs reduce the risk of pregnancy for years when properly inserted. If you’ve never had one, you might not be sure what to expect after an IUD insertion.
With help and support from your doctor and some of the advice here, you’ll find there’s little cause for concern. The few side effects that do occur are typically limited and decrease over time. Most often, you can expect a consistent and reliable birth control method that requires very little maintenance.
How is An IUD Inserted?
So, how is an IUD inserted and what should you expect from the process?
It begins with an examination from the presiding doctor or nurse. They’ll ask some questions about your medical history, perform a routine examination, and may check for STDs. Before the IUD is inserted, your doctor may offer medication to open or numb your cervix.
First, the nurse or doctor will insert a speculum to dilate your vagina. Afterward, they’ll use a special inserter to place the IUD through the opening of the cervix and into the uterus. This whole process usually takes place in five minutes or less barring any complications.
IUDs are inserted during any point of the menstrual cycle. In most cases, IUDs are inserted right after giving birth or having an abortion.
Cramping after IUD Insertion
Cramping after IUD insertion is the most common complication a patient might encounter. You may experience cramping after the initial insertion or after the procedure. Cramping is worse for some patients than others. If you have a regular history of cramps that require pain medicine, your doctor may recommend numbing medicine during the procedure.
Any discomfort or pain from insertion will subside within a couple of minutes. Most people feel perfectly fine afterward, although some people experience cramping or backaches as well. This is perfectly normal and should also lessen over time. Most often, cramping goes away 3 to 6 months after IUD insertion.
The type of IUD used also impacts the level of cramping. Hormonal IUDs usually reduce cramps and make periods lighter. Also, periods may stop completely after an IUD insertion.
On the other hand, Copper IUDs have been known to cause heavier periods and increased cramps in some patients. If you already have a history of heavy periods and cramps, your doctor may recommend hormonal IUDs over copper ones.
Bleeding After IUD Insertion
Less common than cramping, bleeding after IUD insertion sometimes occurs. Most commonly, this takes the form of spotting and light bleeding that occurs outside of the menstrual period. In most patients, spotting decreases over time and will subside completely after 3 to 6 months.
Similar to cramping, there’s a difference between hormonal and copper IUDs. Typically, hormonal IUDs reduce spotting or bleeding, and some people experience more bleeding with copper IUDs.
Talk to your doctor about any changes or side effects after your IUD insertion. Especially if they grow in severity over time or persist for longer than six months.
Expect the Best Medical Care from BASS Medical
Birth control and family planning often require difficult decisions. This is especially true when weighing long-term treatments like IUDs.
IUDs are highly effective and easily reversible, with few chances of error. If you’re considering getting an IUD inserted and need professional medical help, turn to the experts at BASS Medical. Our specialists deal with every aspect of primary care and can help make the process as easy as possible. Whether you’re weighing the risks of birth control methods or other issues around them, BASS’s experts are here to help.