Anyone thinking about birth control these days?
When it comes to family planning, there are many options including daily pills, injections, implants, rings, and patches. These days, women of all ages choose one of the longest-lasting options, the intrauterine device or IUD. While it requires no thought once it’s placed, there are some minimal, seldom spelled out factors to be aware of prior to your in-office prodedure.
There are two kinds of IUD’s; Hormonal and Non-Hormonal.
You may have heard of brands like Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta and Skyla. These are all hormonal IUD’s. After insertion, they are good for 3-6 years and are 99% effective at keeping you from getting pregnant. The hormones help ease cramps, PMS, symptoms of endometriosis and PCOS.
All of this is information that is readily available. Let’s talk about the items that may not be discussed as often:
- Pain when the IUD is put in
- Cramping or back aches for a few days after insertion
- Spotting between periods
- Irregular periods
1. Pain upon insertion
Unfortunately, there may be some discomfort in the office when you are getting your IUD placed. Some women have varying degrees of cramping or pain. The good news is that it only lasts a minute or two and can be dramatically reduced by taking pain medicine prior to your procedure. Some doctors may inject a numbing medicine around your cervix to further assist with any possible pain. If you can, plan to relax a bit at home after your treatment, just in case.
2. Possible cramping when you get home
After your IUD is placed, you may have mild cramping and backaches for a few days. This shouldn’t be severe enough to impact your everyday living activities. If it does, call your office and have them doublecheck the device placement.
3. Spotting Inbetween Periods
You may have cramping and spotting in the months following your placement. This typically goes away within 3-6 months. Periods that you may have in the weeks following may be lighter with less cramps.
4. Irregular Periods
Some women stop getting a period altogether. If you fall in to this category, congratulations! It is not necessary to have a period every month while trying to prevent pregnancy.
Some women prefer not to use a hormonal form of birth control or may not be able to for medical reasons.
There is a difference, however, when it comes to getting a non-hormonal (copper) IUD. This available IUD is called Paragard.
Like the hormonal IUD’s the copper device is also 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It can be left in place for up 12 years before replacement which double that of a hormonal IUD.
The side effects of the Paragard can be dramatically different for the hormonal options. You may have light cramping immediately after insertion but as opposed to making your periods lighter, they can make your periods heavier and cause cramping in the first 3-6 months. After which, this should ease as your body becomes accustomed to the copper in your uterus.
As with anything, if your IUD continues to cause you pain or discomfort after some months, call your doctor to have the placement checked.
Where to get an IUD can be big decision. Many offices require an initial visit to get medical clearance and insurance verification prior to returning for your insertion appointment. If you think this birth control will be the best option for you, plan ahead and call your doctor to learn more.
The practitioners of Nile Women’s Health Care are well versed in all forms of birth control, especially IUD’s. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (770)521-2229 to ask questions and learn more about the best options for you.