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Post IUD Insertion Care


You had an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted!  There are 2 types of IUDs: one that releases a hormone (hormonal IUD) and one that does not (copper IUD).


When does my IUD start working? 

  • The copper IUD begins working now. 

  • Hormonal IUDs (Mirena/ Kyleena) start working in 7 days, unless you started your period. If you started your period less than 7 days ago, it will start working now.

  • If you were taking oral contraceptives, continue it for 7 days after your hormonal IUD insertion.


What should I do today? When can I have sex? 

  • Today, you may go back to school or work if you feel well.

  • Please abstain from vaginal intercourse, baths, swimming, tampon use, and menstrual cup use for at least 24 hours after IUD insertion.

  • Mirena/Kyleena users will need back-up contraception (i.e. condoms) to prevent pregnancy in the first 7 days after placement, unless you are on your period now.

  • If you have sex without a condom before 7 days, you should take emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. 


What should I expect?

  • You can expect to have some cramps and bleeding and or spotting (on and off bleeding or brown discharge) in the first few months but may be worse in the first 1 - 2 weeks.  

  • The cramping and bleeding can last for 3-6 months with the hormonal IUDs. After 6 months, the cramping and bleeding should get better. Many hormonal IUD users will stop having periods after 1 or 2 years, which is safe.

  • If you have a copper IUD, you may have more cramping and bleeding with your periods as long as you have the IUD inside you, but worse in the first 3-6 months.


How should I take care of myself?

  • Ibuprofen/Motrin/Aleeve (NSAIDs) helps decrease the bleeding and cramping. You can buy them at any drug store without a prescription. You can take as many as 3 pills (600 mg) every 6 hours with food (each pill contains 200 mg). To prevent cramping, start taking it as soon as your period starts and keep taking it every 6 hours for the first 2-3 days of your period.

  • You can also put a warm water bottle on your belly if you have bad cramps. 


Will my IUD come out? What should I do if it comes out?

  • Your IUD may come out by itself in the first three months. If you can feel the strings, the IUD is in the right place. If your IUD comes out, you can become pregnant immediately. Use condoms if you think your IUD may have come out.  


How do I check for my IUD strings?

  • If you want, you may check for the strings by inserting one finger into the vagina and feeling for the cervix. The cervix feels similar to the tip of your nose. You should feel strings similar in texture to fishing lines coming out of the cervix.

  • Sometimes the strings are tucked high up and can be difficult to feel and that is usually not a concern. We will send you for an US to make sure it is still in place.


Does the IUD protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? 

  • The IUD does NOT protect you against STIs (HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, HPV, etc.) You should ALWAYS use protection against sexually transmitted infections with condoms if you are at risk. 


Contact your doctor if: 

• You have persistent, worsening abdominal pain, unrelieved with medications

• You have a fever at or above 38.5°C or 101.3°F 

• You have foul-smelling or unusual vaginal discharge

• Your menstrual periods have stopped with the copper IUD

• You or your partner can feel the lower post (hard plastic feel, not the string) of the IUD 

• You think you are pregnant

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