Birth Control Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) (cont.)
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How Is an IUD Inserted?
Before an IUD is placed, a physical examination is important to make sure that your reproductive organs are normal and that you don't have a sexually-transmitted disease (STD). The health-care professional will ask you about your medical and lifestyle. IUDs are not appropriate for every woman.
You should discuss any questions you have with your doctor about IUDs before having it placed.
An IUD can be placed during an office visit and remains in place until a health-care professional removes it. It can be inserted at any phase of the menstrual cycle, but the best time is during the menstrual period because this is when the cervix is softest and when women are least likely to be pregnant. You may be instructed to take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever an hour before insertion to prevent cramps. Cramps may be uncomfortable during insertion. Sometimes, an anesthetic may be injected into the cervix prior to insertion to reduce pain from cramping.
Once the IUD is placed, you can return to normal activities such as sex, exercise, and swimming as soon as you are comfortable. Strenuous physical activity does not affect the position of the IUD. You also can use tampons as soon as you wish after an IUD is placed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2017
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