Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a safe and effective contraceptive option that has gained a lot of traction over the last few years. This form of birth control provides long-lasting and reliable results and doesn’t require any regular maintenance. Kyleena, Mirena and Paragard Copper IUD are among the IUDs available in Canada.

While the result may be desirable, the IUD insertion procedure continues to be a source of fear and apprehension. The most common concern being – Is getting an IUD painful?

 

IUD Insertion Procedure:

After going through your medical history, possible risks, and obtaining consent, the medical professional will have you lie down on the examination table to prepare for the insertion of the IUD.

 

intrauterine device - iud

Similar to a routine pap smear, a speculum is used to open the walls of the vagina. An antiseptic solution is then used to sanitize the area. Another instrument inserts, positions and secures the IUD in the uterus. The trimming of the strings is the final step before the procedure is complete.

 

When should I expect Pain during my IUD Insertion Procedure?

The insertion of the speculum at the beginning of the procedure may cause discomfort for some. This discomfort is not any different than that of a routine pap exam.

The insertion and positioning of the IUD may be a source of pain and cramping for some. A numbing medication injected into the cervical canal during the procedure can help with this discomfort. 

 

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What should I expect after the IUD Insertion Procedure is Complete?

  • Some people experience dizziness and lightheadedness after the procedure; having someone close to get you home safely is recommended. 
  • Back pain and cramping may continue throughout the day. Speak to the medical professional before or after the procedure to determine which over the counter pain medication would be appropriate to use if required. 
  • Episodes of spotting and cramping may continue in the months following the IUD insertion, but these symptoms should subside once your body has become used to the device (usually 4-6 months).

 

Is Getting an IUD Worth the Pain of the Procedure?

Everyone is different, and therefore, everyone will have a different experience during an IUD insertion procedure. Some report minimal discomfort and cramping, while others describe intense pain. The good news is the procedure itself usually lasts no more than 5 minutes. 

Many women would consider 5 minutes of soreness and pain, for up to 10 years of carefree contraception, a fair compromise. Taking over the counter pain medication approximately one hour before the appointment will help ease any potential pain or discomfort. 

The fear of pain during an IUD insertion is valid and understandable. But for the most part, this procedure is well tolerated and provides peace of mind for many years to come.

 

Learn more about the alternatives to IUD:

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