Google Trends’ chart confirms: intrauterine devices (IUDs) are in their peak era.
With a 3-12-year protection plan, this low-profile and low-maintenance method is more than 99% effective(!), making it easy to understand why IUDs are a mainstay contraceptive and a trend here to stay. As we’ve covered, this small, flexible T-shaped device is placed into your uterus at your doctor’s office, but if you’re jumping on the IUD train, we’re here to help fill in the gaps of what to expect. Keep reading for the need-to-knows before and after your IUD insertion.
you’ve got options
You can choose a progestin-containing IUD – Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla – or a non-hormonal IUD, Paragard. Options on options! So before you schedule your appointment, you may want to set up a consult first to ask questions + chat with your provider about which IUD best matches your unique body + lifestyle.
Get ready to take a test
An STI test, that is. For sexually-active Betties, your provider will likely request a negative chlamydia and gonorrhea test before or on the day of your IUD insertion. Why? These two bacteria primarily infect cells of the cervix and if present when placing, you run the risk of pelvic infection. Testing ensures an IUD is the only thing getting snug in your uterus!
keep calm and condom on
Speaking of seggs, remember that IUDs do not protect against STIs, so keep those condoms on hand to keep yourself protected!
a pre-appt ibuprofen might help
IUD placement may cause some temporary discomfort, so your provider might recommend taking 600-800 mg of Ibuprofen 1 hour before your scheduled insertion.
SIDE EFFECTS ARE COMMON
Every Betty’s body will respond to an IUD differently! You might experience some of the common side effects like exacerbated emotions, intermittent spotting with much later periods or no period at all.
Pssst! IUDs are actually used to treat heavy bleeding, so lighter to no bleeding isn’t necessarily concerning!
You can expect some CRAMPING + BLEEDING
For the first few days post-placement, you can expect cramping and irregular bleeding that should decrease over time. Your provider might recommend taking Ibuprofen + a warm compress for some relief!
If pain increases over time, or you’re experiencing severe abdominal pain, abnormal discharge or odor, heavy bleeding, or any other concerns, call your provider immediately.
check up on those strings + placement
Four to six weeks after insertion, your provider will check up on your IUD strings and placement. After that follow-up, check your strings every month. Contact your provider if you can’t feel the strings or think your IUD is out of place. (And until placement is confirmed, use a backup contraception method!)