What are the risks?

When it comes to IUDs we want to make sure that this is the best method for you. Some methods work better than others for some women so be sure to have this conversation with your health care provider. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions when it comes to potential risks or problems.

Will it hurt my partner? Will they feel it?

The IUD shouldn't hurt your partner. You may have heard that the strings can bother men while having sex, but most partners can't even feel the strings. If your partner can feel the strings, and that bothers him, your healthcare provider might be able to trim them. Plus, they usually soften over time.

What about spotting and bleeding?

Spotting, which can happen with a bunch of different methods, doesn’t make you lose that much blood, even though it might seem like it. If your periods become heavier or your cramps are worse. You're probably using a copper IUD such as the Paragard. Sometimes things get better if you just give it a couple months. You can also take ibuprofen for the first few days of your period. If you like using an IUD but find that the side effects don't get better over time you could try switching to a hormonal IUD such as Mirena.

What if I'm ready to get pregnant?

If you want to get pregnant, just have your IUD removed by your health care provider, the hormones in your body will go back to normal quickly and you can start that "family planning" right away.

Does the procedure hurt?

If you're worried about pain from the initial procedure. IUD insertion pain can vary from person to person, but unfortunately there is not a great drug to take to make insertion less painful.

You can try taking ibuprofen beforehand, and make sure you get the IUD inserted when your cervix is open, such as when you're on your period or ovulating. Even if there is some pain, it might be worth it.

Can I still use a tampon?

As far as tampons and IUDS go, Planned Parenthood puts it like this: “Tampons and IUDs are kind of like next-door neighbors. They’re close but they live in different parts of the reproductive system. An IUD and a tampon are separated by the cervix, and don’t interfere with each other’s business.”

You should be fine as long as you are careful not to pull on the IUD strings, which you shouldn’t need to worry about too much since the string of a tampon are outside of your vagina and the strings of your IUD should be up near your cervix. (If you find that your IUD strings are anywhere near your tampon strings, you should go see your health care provider because your IUD might be expelled.)

What if I want my IUD out? Can I do it myself?

You may be able to find some stories online about people removing their own IUD, but we wouldn't recommend trying it. There just isn't enough research at this point to know if it's safe.

Plus, if you're not happy with your IUD, going to your health care provider to get it removed will give you a chance to ask about other options for birth control. Or if you're ready to get pregnant, you can talk with your provider about things you should do to prepare for a healthy pregnancy.


About The LARC Foundation

The LARC Foundation is a grassroots organization aimed at providing education, promoting and spreading awareness, and alleviating the financial barrier to women in low income, and high risk environments.

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