All You Need to Know About IUD Placement


An intrauterine device (IUD) is a form of birth control that your healthcare provider places inside your uterus. Once placed inside, it will help protect you against pregnancy for up to ten years, depending on your type of IUD placement. IUD insertion is a quick procedure that usually takes less than five minutes and is performed in your doctor’s office or clinic. Before your IUD placement, your doctor or notice will perform a medical exam to check your uterus, cervix, and vagina. They may also test you for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). In this article, we will discuss the New York IUD placement procedure.

Preparation and During Procedure

Before your IUD placement procedure, you are advised to eat a light meal or snack and drink some water, so you do not get dizzy. You will also be required to give the doctor your urine sample so that they can make sure you are not expectant before they place the IUD in. While painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help prevent cramping during the procedure, make sure to first consult with your practitioner before taking them. Your doctor will then place a speculum into your vagina using special medical tools to widen it.

They will check the size and position of your uterus and clean your vagina and cervix with an antiseptic liquid. Since IUDs are shaped like a T, with one arm on either side, the practitioner will carefully fold down both arms and place them into a catheter. IUDs usually have a string at the bottom that hangs down into your vagina and cervix. Your doctor will trim this string leaving about two inches. While an IUD placement is a quick procedure that takes between 5-15 minutes, you may consider staying at the practitioner’s office for some minutes afterward to check for abnormalities.

Is IUD insertion painful?

For most people, IUD insertion makes them feel uncomfortable, but it should not hurt too much. It is normal to feel cramping when the healthcare provider inserts your intrauterine device. While severe discomfort is also possible for some people, it is difficult to predict which patient will have mild to intense pain. That said, planning for pain relief medications before your IUD procedure would be best. You can consider painkillers such as; a numbing medication injected around your cervix, lidocaine spray or gel inside your vagina, or pills like naproxen. If you have anxiety problems, your provider may recommend anti-anxiety medications such as lorazepam to help you remain calm. Moreover, your practitioner can suggest using anesthesia that puts you to sleep during the procedure.

After IUD insertion

After the procedure, it is normal to feel some mild cramping in your uterus, but if you begin to experience very painful cramps, contact your doctor immediately. You may notice abnormal bleeding or normal spotting for the first few months. Many patients feel perfectly fine right after their IUD placement, while others need to take it easy and slow for some time. You should also not be alarmed by the 1-2 inches of IUD string left after the procedure. The main purpose of this string is so that your doctor or nurse can easily remove the IUD later.

Dr. Inga Zilberstein, MD, PLLC, is a gynecologist and obstetrician in New York City who has resided on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for more than three decades, offering a wide range of women’s health services such as medical abortion, labiaplasty, obstetrics, bioidentical hormone replacement, and many others. Get started today and book an appointment online or call us.

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