August 24, 2016
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IUD (cont.)

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What are the side effects of an IUD?

Side effects of the IUD are limited primarily to the uterus and depend upon the type of IUD that is inserted. The copper IUD may cause worsening of menstrual cramps and heavier menstrual bleeding, although hormonal IUDs usually reduce menstrual flow. Women with hormonal IUDs may have irregular periods and spotting, particularly in the first three to six months.

It is also possible for the IUD to pass through (perforate) the uterine wall and enter the abdominal cavity, where it must be retrieved surgically. Perforation of or trauma to the uterus by the IUD occurs in one to three per 1,000 insertions.

Does an IUD cause pain?

An IUD does not cause pain. The insertion procedure is done in a doctor's office and may cause a brief discomfort similar to menstrual cramping. An anesthetic can be injected into the cervix prior to the insertion procedure.

What are warning signs and symptoms of possible complications from an IUD?

Warning signs of possible complications from an IUD include

  • abdominal pain,
  • heavy bleeding,
  • abnormal spotting or bleeding,
  • a smelly vaginal discharge.

If a woman experiences any of these signs, she should contact a health-care professional.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/25/2016


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