Is the IUD Painful?

Reviewed on 3/24/2021

A form of long-term birth control, the intrauterine device (IUD) is inserted into the cervix. When getting an IUD, expect to feel brief cramping or pain.
A form of long-term birth control, the intrauterine device (IUD) is inserted into the cervix. When getting an IUD, expect to feel brief cramping or pain.

An intrauterine device, or IUD (also called an intrauterine system, or IUS) is a type of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), or birth control

The insertion of an IUD may cause some cramping or pain during the procedure, but it only lasts a minute or two.

Some doctors may inject an anesthetic to help numb the cervix prior to the procedure. 

What Is an IUD?

IUDs are small, T-shaped devices inserted into the uterus by a health care provider and remain in place and prevent pregnancy for years. An IUD can be replaced when the contraceptive properties expire, or when the woman no longer wishes to use contraception.

An IUD is considered the most effective form of reversible contraception.

What Are the Types of IUDs?

There are two main types of IUDs: 

  • Hormonal IUDs, which release the female hormone progestin (levonorgestrel) into the uterus, causing thickening of the cervical mucus which prevents sperm from reaching or fertilizing the egg, thinning of the uterine lining, and possibly preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs
  • Copper IUDs, which prevent sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg, and can prevent an egg from attaching in the uterus
    • If an egg does become fertilized, a copper IUD can prevent it from implanting into the uterine lining

How Is an IUD Inserted?

Women will usually have a physical examination of the vagina, cervix, and uterus prior to insertion of an IUD. 

  • Prior to the procedure, patients may be given medicine to help open the cervix and anesthetic to numb the cervix
  • A speculum is inserted into the vagina and a special inserter is used to place the IUD through the opening of the cervix into the uterus 

The procedure usually takes less than five minutes.

IUDs can be inserted at any point in a woman’s menstrual cycle, even just after giving birth or having an abortion.

QUESTION

Which of the following are methods for contraception? See Answer

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Reviewed on 3/24/2021
References
https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/contraception/conditioninfo/types

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/iud/whats-an-iud-insertion-like