What to expect during and after IUD Insertion
An intrauterine device, or IUD, is a T-shaped birth control device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are several different IUD types available, but all of them are effective for multiple years at a time. This makes them a great choice for women interested in long-term contraceptives that don’t require a daily pill or other regular maintenance. At Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine in Katy and West Houston, Texas, patients often ask us about the IUD insertion procedure and what to expect. We believe in giving our patients as much information as they need to be well-informed and confident when going into their procedure and will take the time to answer any questions that may arise.
IUD insertion: What to expect
Before your appointment, you may wish to take over-the-counter pain medication such as Ibuprofen to help minimize any cramping or discomfort during the insertion procedure.
- Once you are in the exam room, we will perform a pregnancy test to rule out any possibility of pregnancy and then perform an examination to determine the position, size, and other characteristics of your uterus that are important for the proper placement of the IUD.
- At this point, we will use a speculum to open the vagina and then use an instrument called a tenaculum to help keep the cervix stable and steady during the procedure.
- After measuring the length of the cervical canal and uterus, we will remove the IUD from its sterile packaging and insert it using a small plunger mechanism.
- Once it is in the proper position, it will open into a “T” shape that helps keep it securely in place.
While this may sound like quite a few steps, the whole procedure generally only takes a few minutes.
After your IUD is inserted
The IUD has small strings that will hang about one to two inches out of the cervix. These will not be visible outside of the vagina but will be palpable inside the vagina, which is how you can check to make sure your IUD is still securely in place if you are ever concerned. We will inform you of the type of IUD inserted and how long it is effective (three to twelve years, depending on the type) so you know when you will need to return to have it removed. After the insertion procedure, you may feel some cramping and bleeding as the uterus adjusts to the IUD. This is normal, but we encourage you to call us if there is heavy or constant bleeding.
If you are interested in learning more about an IUD or have questions about the procedure for getting one placed, call our office at 855 346 8610.