Health

3 Things Every Woman Should Know About Getting an IUD

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are one of the best birth control methods out there. These T-shaped devices offer long-term protection against pregnancy. Recent research reveals that nearly 10.4% of women aged 15 to 49 use some form of long-acting reversible contraception. This includes IUDs.

Intrauterine devices are highly effective. These reduce the risk of pregnancy by 99%. Their success rate and low maintenance make them an ideal option for women to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

In recent years, there has been a surge in the demand for IUDs. These devices offer pregnancy protection for a good number of years. Yet, there are a few drawbacks to using them. If you’re considering IUDs, here are some things that you should know before getting them inserted into your uterus.

#1 Slight Discomfort or Pain is Normal After IUD Insertion

IUD insertion lasts for no more than five minutes. But that doesn’t mean the entire process is painless. You might experience a pinching sensation during IUD insertion. This is often followed by mild cramping, which lasts for a few hours after the procedure.

The amount of discomfort a woman feels during IUD insertion depends on her pain threshold as well as the skills of the healthcare provider. That is why it’s advised to choose an experienced medical professional for IUD insertion.

Some experience moderate pain during IUD insertion, whereas others suffer severe pain, including pressure on the abdomen and intense cramping. A prophylactic over-the-counter pain reliever can help relieve pain.

Ask your doctor for a pain reliever so that you can take them to alleviate pain. However, the pain shouldn’t last longer than a few days. Contact your doctor if your pain doesn’t subside after a few days of IUD insertion.

#2 It’s Possible for an IUD to Fall Out

Most IUDs stay in place after insertion and can prevent pregnancy for up to seven to ten years. However, some occasionally fall or slip out of place. This is known as expulsion. While this may happen at any time, IUDs are more likely to fall out within the first three months of insertion. That is why you must always check your pad, tampon, or menstrual cup to see if the device has fallen out.

A device that has been drawing thousands of complaints is Paragard IUD, the only non-hormonal device available in the U.S. Several women have experienced expulsion with Paragard IUDs. This has given rise to Paragard IUD lawsuits.

A total of 2,647 lawsuits are filed in multidistrict litigation. According to TorHoerman Law, women sued Paragard manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals and the distributor CooperSurgical in the lawsuit.

Each of the plaintiffs in the Paragard IUD lawsuit alleges that the manufacturer, as well as the distributor, failed to warn them about the risks of the device migrating within their body.

Migration of IUDs in the body is concerning because it can lead to ectopic pregnancy, which is life-threatening. You might experience vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, and abdominal pain if your IUD falls out. Seek medical attention right away if you notice any of these.

#3 An IUD Can Affect Your Periods

A common side effect of getting an IUD inserted is that it will affect your periods.

Hormonal IUDs often make periods lighter and briefer, whereas women with non-hormonal devices experience heavier bleeding as well as longer periods. Here’s why this happens.

A hormonal IUD releases levonorgestrel, a synthetic form of progesterone, into the uterus. Levonorgestrel thickens cervical mucus, thins the endometrium, and prevents ovulation. Menstruation occurs when the endometrium sheds away and leaves the body through the vagina. With a hormonal IUD, there is less material to shed. That is why periods don’t last long, and the bleeding is light.

Non-hormonal IUDs, on the other hand, do not prevent ovulation. These prevent pregnancies by inhibiting the sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg. As a non-hormonal IUD doesn’t thin the endometrium like a hormonal one, many women experience heavier as well as longer periods.

Putting it all together, an IUD insertion is a relatively quick procedure that is completed within five minutes. IUD insertion isn’t painless; it’s common for women to experience pain or cramping for a few hours or days. Over-the-counter pain relievers will help you manage this discomfort.

IUDs are considered the most effective method to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but they aren’t 100% effective. You can still get pregnant with an IUD, though the chances are low. It’s a good idea to use other forms of birth control, such as pills. This will protect you from pregnancy, giving you peace of mind.

After your first period, be sure to see a healthcare provider to ensure your IUD hasn’t fallen out and is in place.

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