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If you’re looking for an easy and effective birth control option, Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) are common. While IUDs are known for being a reliable method of contraception, many women express worries regarding potential side effects or complications associated with using them.
This blog will discuss the most common risks and rewards associated with IUDs. From potential side effects to tips on checking your IUD strings, we’ll provide you with the complete information you need to make an informed decision about using this contraceptive method.
Side Effects of IUD
IUDs, both hormonal and non-hormonal, can cause specific side effects.
Some women may experience adverse side effects after an IUD insertion. These side effects may include:
- Changes in Menstrual Patterns: Irregular bleeding, spotting, or heavier periods are typical side effects of using an IUD. This is relatively common during the initial few months after insertion.
- Cramping and Abdominal Discomfort: Some women may experience mild to moderate cramping or abdominal pain after getting an IUD. This pain usually subsides, but medical attention should be sought if it becomes severe or persistent.
- Hormonal Side Effects: Hormonal IUDs can cause side effects comparable to other hormonal contraceptives, such as headaches, nausea, mood swings, and breast tenderness. These side effects are usually temporary and tend to improve with time.
- Weight Gain: While weight gain is not a common side effect of IUD use, some individuals may experience slight changes in their weight. However, it is important to note that individual responses to contraceptives can vary.
Common Complications of IUD
While IUDs are typically considered safe, there are some risks associated with them.
The most common complications suffered by women include:
- IUD Displacement: This happens when the IUD moves from its original position in the uterus and can cause abdominal pain, cramping, and heavy bleeding.
- IUD Expulsion: In some cases, IUDs can fall out of the uterus, either partially or completely.
- Perforation of the Uterus: In rare cases, the IUD can pierce the wall of the uterus, which may cause internal bleeding, infection, or damage to other organs.
Signs Your IUD Is Out of Place
If you experience any of the following symptoms, your IUD may be out of place:
- You can’t feel the IUD strings or can feel the strings hanging out of your body.
- You experience extreme cramping or abdominal pain.
- You feel discomfort during sexual intercourse.
- You have unexplained vaginal bleeding or discharge.
How To Check IUD Strings
Regularly checking the IUD strings is crucial to ensure the device is in place. Here’s how to do it:
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Insert your index or middle finger into your vagina until you can feel the cervix.
- The IUD strings should be located at the cervix. They feel like thin, flexible threads.
- Gently feel the strings to ensure they are present and not unusually long or short.
- If you can’t feel the strings, or if you notice any changes in their length or position, contact your healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation.
Long-Term IUD Side Effects
While IUDs are safe for most women, some may experience long-term side effects like hair loss, mood swings, and weight gain. However, these side effects are not common and should not deter you from using an IUD if it works best for you.
An IUD is safe, effective, and convenient birth control for most women. However, as with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with it. It’s important to know the potential side effects and complications before making a decision.
If you experience any unusual symptoms after an IUD insertion, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Remember to conduct regular checks on your IUD strings to ensure that it’s in place.