8 IUD Side Effects That Must Be Considered

Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, MD · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Hello Sehat · Updated Jul 05, 2022

    8 IUD Side Effects That Must Be Considered

    The IUD (intrauterine device) is a contraceptive that is in great demand by Filipina women because it is effective and inserting the IUD is relatively easy. Depending on the type you want to have in place– whether hormone or copper-containing– an IUD can prevent pregnancy for 3 to 10 years. However, you should first know the potential IUD side effects that may occur before you can confidently decide to use it.

    What are some IUD side effects?

    Just like other contraceptives, the IUD ( hormonal or copper type of IUD ) comes with various advantages and disadvantages. Not to forget, sometimes there are one or more side effects that accompany the use of this contraception, including:

    1. Pain during IUD insertion

    One of the IUD side effects is the pain that is felt when inserting the IUD . Although not all women experience this, this condition is one of the possible IUD side effects.

    Usually, this pain doesn’t last long, so you don’t have to worry. It may vary to mild to moderate pain, associated with a bit of cramping. This can be managed by pain medications.

    2. Irregular menstruation

    Another side effect that may occur when you use the IUD is irregular menstrual cycles. Usually, irregular menstrual cycles depend on the type of birth control used. Especially, given that there are two types of IUDs that you can use.

    For example, if you use hormonal contraceptives, you will usually experience light bleeding but with irregular menstrual cycles. Meanwhile, when you use nonhormonal copper IUDs, you may experience heavier bleeding during the first few months before it goes back to your usual menstrual flow.

    3. Abdominal cramps after IUD insertion

    Another IUD side effect that you can also experience after using the IUD is stomach cramps. Yes, you are very likely to experience pain or cramping in the abdominal area after IUD insertion. Abdominal cramps can also appear when you are menstruating.

    However, the abdominal cramping you feel may be slightly different from the cramping or pain you usually feel during your period. Therefore, when you experience unusual abdominal cramps or severe pain, you may need to have it checked by a doctor.

    4. Bleeding spots appear

    If you experience spotting when using an IUD, you don’t need to worry. The reason, it may be one of the IUD side effects. This usually happens because your body still needs time to adapt to the presence of this foreign object.

    However, there is a possibility of bleeding after sex. Although, the actual presence of an IUD in the vagina should not interfere with your sexual activity with your partner.

    If the use of the IUD makes you or your partner feel uncomfortable during sex, you should consult a doctor.

    5. Nausea and stomach ache

    Uncommonly, another IUD side effect that you may experience after insertion is nausea. This transient condition is usually associated with progestin-containing IUD. If the nausea persists for long and is associated with frequent vomiting, consult a doctor immediately to rule out any infection

    6. Vaginal infection

    One of the fairly serious side effects that you may experience after insertion of the IUD is infection. The infection you experience usually occurs in the vagina. This is possible if there is an undetected infection or if the IUD was possibly contaminated before insertion.

    Note that the possibility of ascending infection is very small. As reported by the Office on Women’s Health, after installation, your risk of developing an infection in your reproductive organs does increase. Even so, it does not mean that every woman who uses an IUD as a contraceptive will experience this condition.

    7. IUD position shifts

    One possibility that can occur from the use of the IUD is that it shifts its position in the uterus. In fact, this position can shift all the way out of your womb. Therefore, it is important that you regularly check the position of the IUD thread. This can help you ensure that the IUD is still in its original position.

    If you’re concerned that the IUD has shifted or the IUD thread isn’t felt, use backup contraception until you have time to see a doctor.

    8. Other IUD side effects

    Not only that, the actual use of the IUD does have a variety of potential side effects. However, the IUD side effects are still quite temporary. For example, another side effect that may also occur when you have an IUD inserted is the development of acne.

    Not only that, other mild IUD side effects are body aches and pains, to sore breasts after IUD insertion. These side effects are more likely to occur when you use a hormonal IUD.

    How to deal with IUD side effects?

    Actually, you don’t have to worry too much about the side effects of IUD insertion. Why? Because the side effects of using an IUD often only last for the first few months of use. This happens because your body is still adapting to the presence of the IUD in the uterus.

    However, this condition does not interfere with your daily activities or routines. In addition, there are various ways that you can address the IUD side effects.

    • Take pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, or naproxen to reduce pain.
    • Use a warm compress right on the area under the stomach that feels uncomfortable, to relieve cramps and pain.
    • Use a pantyliner for some time to absorb any bleeding or irregular blood spots.

    However, you need to be careful about any IUD side effects that you experience after insertion. If the side effects you experience continue to appear for months and do not go away, it’s better if you go to the doctor.

    Tell your doctor about any conditions and symptoms you are experiencing. Avoid solving health problems without the supervision or advice of your doctor.

    Learn more about Contraception here.

    This article was first published on Hello Sehat.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mary Rani Cadiz, MD

    Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Written by Hello Sehat · Updated Jul 05, 2022