Painful Sex After IUD Insertion

An IUD is a great way to prevent pregnancy. But sometimes, it can cause pain during sex. If that happens, you should see your doctor.

A doctor can usually insert an IUD without too much pain. Cramping and light spotting may occur afterward. But it should gradually improve. If it doesn’t, you should seek medical advice.

Cervical pain

The pain and cramps that come with IUD insertion aren’t uncommon, but how much you feel depends on your tolerance for discomfort. Your doctor might inject you with numbing medication or use a tool called a tenaculum, which latches temporarily to your cervix, to help make the process more comfortable. Some people describe the cramps as a sharp or burning sensation in their lower abdomen, like menstrual cramps or a feeling of pressure.

The results of a recent study published in the journal Sexual Health found that while some women experience more pain than others during IUD insertion, the overall procedure is not nearly as painful as many think. The researchers used a standardized assessment of pain, the Wong-Baker FACES scale, to determine the level of discomfort experienced by women at each step in the IUD insertion process, from cleansing the uterus with water, measuring the depth of the cervix with a probe and then inserting the device. The researchers found that the steps in the process that caused the most pain were uterine sounding and insertion, with a median WBS score of 4 (on a scale of 0 to 10).

Whether you have an IUD or are considering getting one, it’s worth letting your doctor know how much discomfort you can tolerate so they can plan accordingly. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case your appointment is more taxing than you expected, such as enlisting someone to drive you home, or having over-the-counter pain medications, like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, with you.

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Cramps

For many people, the cramping that occurs during and after IUD insertion is tolerable. It may feel like cervical pinching, intense uterine cramping, or pressure in the lower abdomen. For those who are especially sensitive, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can help manage discomfort.

Cramping that results from IUD insertion often lasts a few days or weeks and decreases as the uterus gets used to having a foreign object in the area. If the cramping persists, you can ask your doctor for a TENS device that delivers small electric currents to stimulate nerves and block pain signals.

Whether or not you experience IUD-related cramping, it’s important to know that the procedure is safe and effective for most women. Most gynecologists are happy to answer questions about the procedure and can provide helpful tips for managing pain.

For some, cramping that doesn’t go away may be a sign that the IUD is displaced or at risk of expulsion. If you experience severe cramping accompanied by heavy bleeding that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter pain medication, contact your doctor right away. They can check to make sure your IUD is in the correct position and remove it if needed. Then you can get back to feeling normal. Then you can focus on what really matters: being a woman.

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Bleeding

Occasionally, an IUD can cause heavy bleeding or pain that mimics a period. The cervix may be softer and more open while on a period, making it easier for the doctor to insert an IUD.

Depending on the type of IUD, bleeding may go away after 3 to 6 months. Hormonal IUDs are known to change a person’s periods, with the periods becoming lighter and less painful or even going away completely.

IUDs are highly effective in preventing pregnancy, but they do not protect against sexually transmitted infections. If a woman thinks she is pregnant, she should visit her gynecologist right away. She may be asked to take a pelvic exam and/or a pregnancy test.

Bleeding after sex is a common problem for almost 9 percent of menstruating women. This is usually caused by a lack of lubrication during sex or an STD. However, if the bleeding is heavy or accompanied by abdominal pain or a rapid pulse, it is important to contact a doctor immediately. The doctor may perform a pelvic exam and a pregnancy test or an ultrasound to check for an IUD expulsion. If the IUD is missing, the doctor will help the client choose another birth control method. If a woman is not pregnant, she can have another IUD inserted right away. She should not have sex until she has a new IUD in place.

Expulsion

The good news is that pain during sex with an IUD is pretty rare. Your IUD will rest inside your uterus, and your partner won’t be able to feel it because the cervix blocks access to it. You can check your strings (they’re dangling down from the bottom of the IUD) by inserting fingers into your vagina, but if you feel that your IUD is no longer where it should be or you can’t find the strings at all, call your doctor right away.

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They’ll likely recommend that you come in for an ultrasound to see if the IUD is still in place. If not, you’ll need a new one.

In this study, we enrolled 140 women who had IUDs/IUSs inserted between March and May of 2014. By the 1-year follow up, 38 (27.1%) had expelled their IUDs/IUS. We did not see any differences in expulsion rates according to IUD type or mode of delivery.

The most important thing to remember is to stay calm. It’s not pleasant or convenient, but it isn’t uncommon for IUDs to get accidentally expelled. It also doesn’t mean that the IUD isn’t right for you – we’re here to help you decide what birth control method best fits your lifestyle and goals.

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