If you haven’t noticed, IUDs are one of the biggest trends in the world of birth control. The IUD (aka Intrauterine Device) is a tiny t-shaped implant that a doctor places in your uterus to help prevent pregnancy for several years. Unfortunately, one thing commonly associated with IUDs is the cramps they cause after insertion.
Despite that fact, IUDs really score when it comes to effectiveness. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), IUDs have less than a 1 percent failure rate (compared to 9 percent for the Pill and 18 percent for condoms). Because they’re so effective and because we’re facing many potential changes to healthcare, demand for IUDs has increased by a ~lot~. IUD appointments have spiked up 21 percent between October 2016 and January 2017 alone.
Although many women, including myself, have researched the pain associated with IUD insertion and the serious complications that could possibly arise from it, what many of us don’t really know about is the cramping that follows. Looking around, I realized there isn’t really that much information on the topic, so we asked an expert to clarify.
Dr. Jennifer Wider is a women’s health expert, and she spoke to HelloGiggles about IUD cramps, so that we know what kind of pain is normal, and what kind we should be worried about.
First of all, after an IUD is inserted, expect some pretty serious cramps.
The most serious IUD cramps can be expected in the first few days after insertion, according to Dr. Wider. Don’t be alarmed if you feel pretty drained and unable to do much.
But how long should these cramps last?
It depends. Sometimes the IUD cramps only last a few days after insertion. But if your cramps last longer, don’t be alarmed, because that’s quite common as well. Dr. Wider explains that post-insertion cramps vary from woman to woman.
So definitely rest up and become BFFs with your heating pad, and don’t worry if cramping lasts a little longer than you expected.
If you notice that your monthly cramps feel more painful, don’t panic.
Cramps can increase no matter what type of IUD you have — hormonal or not. But in general, Dr. Wider explains that any intensified cramping should ease up after a while. She adds, “If the cramps are persistent and strong, you should see a health care provider to make sure it is inserted properly and there are no serious side effects.”
And that brings us to the most important point — if pain feels severe, definitely get yourself checked out.
Dr. Wider reiterates that although it’s normal for many women to experience IUD cramping, there is definitely a point where the pain gets so unbearable that you should ask a medical professional whether something else is going on.
Obviously, whenever you’re feeling worried, get yourself to a medical professional, just in case. As an IUD user, I definitely feel better knowing this information when it comes to my cramps. And hopefully this gives you some clarity as well, whether you’re already on Team IUD or you’re thinking about joining. Because we deserve to have all the information, so we can make the best decision for our bodies — especially our uteruses.