Intrauterine Device Insertion
(IUD Insertion; Insertion, Intrauterine Device; Insertion, IUD; Copper Intrauterine Device Insertion; Copper IUD Insertion; Insertion, Copper Intrauterine Device; Insertion, Copper IUD; Hormone-releasing Intrauterine Device Insertion; Hormone-releasing IUD Insertion; Insertion, Hormone-releasing Intrauterine Device; Insertion, Hormone-releasing IUD)
DefinitionAn 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 5 years before it needs to be replaced.
- Copper—Releases copper ions. Can be left inside the body for 10 years.
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Reasons for ProcedureThis 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
Possible ComplicationsProblems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Abnormal bleeding and increased spotting for a few months
- Irregular or no menstrual period (hormone-releasing IUD)
- 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
- 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
- History of 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
- Cervical or uterine cancer
- Liver disease or liver cancer (hormone-releasing IUD)
- Breast cancer (hormone-releasing IUD)
- Allergy to copper (copper IUD)
- Wilson’s disease (copper IUD)
What to Expect
Prior to ProcedureYou will be asked about your medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include checking for pregnancy or infection.You may want to ask someone to give you a ride home after the procedure.
AnesthesiaLocal anesthesia is used to keep you comfortable during the procedure.
Description of the ProcedureThis procedure is usually done in an office or clinic setting with no need for an overnight stay.You will lie on an exam table and put your feet in foot holders. A speculum will be inserted into your vagina to allow access to the cervix. Your cervix and vagina will be cleansed with an antiseptic. Another instrument called a tenaculum will be used to grasp the cervix and keep the uterus in place during the procedure. The doctor will insert a special instrument to measure the depth of your uterus to make sure that it will fit the IUD.The T-shaped IUD will be folded and inserted into a tube. The tube will be inserted into your uterus through the vagina. The tube will then be pulled back. The IUD will open into its T-shaped position inside your uterus. The tube and tenaculum will then be removed. The IUD's tiny strings will hang out of your cervix and into the far back of your vagina. The speculum will then be removed.
|Insertion of IUD Into Uterus|
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How Long Will It Take?Actual insertion takes about 5 minutes.
Will It Hurt?You may feel cramping or mild discomfort while the IUD is being inserted. You may asked to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) such as ibuprofen an hour before the procedure.
Post-procedure CareAt the Care CenterYou may be given medication to ease any discomfort. When you are ready, you will be able to leave.At HomeBe sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. When you return home:
- Resume regular activities as soon as you feel comfortable.
- Check that the strings are present in the back of your vagina each month.
Call Your DoctorIt is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
- 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
- Rapid heartbeat
Office on Women's Health
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Women's Health Matters
Endometrial hyperplasia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 26, 2013. Accessed March 18, 2014.
Intrauterine device (IUD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 17, 2014. Accessed March 18, 2014.
IUD. Planned Parenthood website. Available at: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/iud-4245.htm. Accessed March 18, 2014.
Johnson BA. Insertion and removal of intrauterine devices. Am Fam Physician. 2005;71(1):95-102.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 110: Noncontraceptive uses of hormonal vontraception. Obstet Gynecol. 2010;115(1):206-218. Reaffirmed August 2012.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015
- Update Date: 04/30/2014