IUDs are safe for most women. A history of certain infections or illnesses may raise the risk of problems. IUDs may also not be safe for women with certain cancers, such as cervical, liver, or breast cancer.
A copper IUD may not be a good choice for women with:
Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take
Tests that may need to be done, such as a pregnancy test
Whether you should have someone drive you home after the insertion
Anesthesia is often not needed. The doctor may use local anesthesia. The area will be numb.
Description of the Procedure
You will lie on an exam table with your feet in footrests. A tool will be inserted into the vagina to make space. The cervix and vagina will be cleaned.
The T-shaped IUD will be folded and placed into a tube. The tube will be passed through the vagina to the uterus. The IUD will be released in the uterus. This may cause some cramping or pain. The IUD will open and sit in the upper part of the uterus. A thin string will hang down from the device into the vagina. The tube and tools will be removed.
You may feel cramping for 3 to 6 months. Bleeding may also be irregular. Medicine and home care can help.
At the Care Center
You can leave once you are ready.
It may take 3 to 6 months for cramping and spotting to stop. Copper IUDs will work right away. Hormonal IUDs may take some time before they work. Other forms of birth control should be used until the IUD takes effect.
Call Your Doctor
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
Periods that are heavy or last longer than usual
Severe belly pain or cramping
A change in the length of the strings or cannot feel strings with your fingers
An IUD that is passing through your cervix or has come out
Unusual discharge from the vagina
Pain during sex
Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
Signs of pregnancy, such as nausea and vomiting or tender breasts
Committee on Practice Bulletins-Gynecology, Long-Acting Reversible Contraception Work Group. Practice Bulletin No. 186: Long-Acting Reversible Contraception: Implants and Intrauterine Devices. Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Nov;130(5):e251-e269
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.