Intrauterine Device Insertion
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a type of temporary birth control for women. It is inserted by a doctor. There are two types of IUDs: Both devices are shaped like a letter “T” with a tiny string attached. When the device is removed, most women can become pregnant again.
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Notice change in the length of the strings
- Cannot feel the strings with your fingers
- Feel the "T" part of the IUD passing through your cervix
- Think you may be pregnant
- Heavy periods or periods that last longer than usual
- Missed, late, or unusually light period
- You or your partner have or are exposed to a sexually transmitted disease
- Severe cramps, pain, or tenderness in your abdomen
- Pain or bleeding during sex
- Unexplained fever or chills
- Flu-like symptoms, like muscle aches or tiredness
- Unusual discharge from the vagina or sores on your genitals
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Severe headaches
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a type of temporary birth control for women. It is inserted by a doctor.
There are two types of IUDs:
- Hormone-releasing—releases the hormone progestin. Can be left in the body for five years before it needs to be replaced.
- Copper—releases copper ions. Can be left inside the body for 10 years.
Intrauterine Device Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Both devices are shaped like a letter “T” with a tiny string attached. When the device is removed, most women can become pregnant again.
What to Expect
Reasons for Procedure
This procedure is done to prevent pregnancy. It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The hormone-releasing IUD may also have other benefits, such as treating:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Endometrial hyperplasia
Serious complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. Your doctor will review a list of possible complications, including:
- Abnormal bleeding and increased spotting for a few months
no menstrual period
- Heavier menstrual periods (copper IUD)
- Pain when menstruating
- IUD can slip out of the uterus or vagina
- Pelvic infection
- Damage to the uterus or other pelvic organs
Even with an IUD inserted, there is a chance that you can still get pregnant. If so, there is a possibility of an
. This happens when the fetus develops outside the uterus. Other possibilities include miscarriage, premature labor, or delivery.
An IUD is not for every woman. Certain things would make a woman a poor candidate for IUD insertion, such as :
- Vaginal bleeding of unknown cause
- Deformed uterus
- History of ectopic pregnancy
- History of pelvic infection after childbirth or after an abortion in the last three months
pelvic inflammatory disease
, unless there has been a normal pregnancy since then
- Sexually transmitted disease or other infection in the pelvic area
- Increased risk of pelvic infections
Liver disease or
(for the hormone-releasing IUD)
- Breast cancer
(for the hormone-releasing IUD)
- Allergy to copper (for the copper IUD)
- Wilson’s disease
(for the copper IUD)
Discuss these risks with your doctor before the IUD insertion.