Two types of IUDs
There are two types of intrauterine devices (IUDs) available: hormonal or copper. Hormonal IUDs release the hormone progesterone and are highly effective in terms of preventing pregnancy. Copper IUDs are made of copper and prevent pregnancy without hormones. Neither hormonal nor copper IUDs are associated with increased risk of blood clots or cardiovascular disorders, and may therefore be a suitable contraceptive alternative for most women.
Before the insertion
We have the most common IUDs, hormonal and copper, available in our clinics where our gynecologists are situated, but if you already have one you may bring this to the consultation. It is recommended to check for sexually transmitted diseases and rule out pregnancy before the IUD is inserted. The days following insertion it is normal to experience bleeding and abdominal cramps. Paracetamol and ibuprofen may alleviate the pain.
After the insertion
To reduce the risk of infection in the uterus, it is recommended to abstain from sexual intercourse the first 7 days. In addition you should avoid tampons, swimming and hot tubs these first days. If you experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, heavy bleeding and pain you should contact a doctor as soon as possible.
It is recommended to have a check-up and confirm the IUD’s position after 1-2 months. This is usually a painless examination. If you wish to have your IUD removed, both our general practitioners and gynecologists may do this.
IUD as emergency contraception
Copper IUDs can be used as emergency contraception to reduce the risk of pregnancy by 99% after unprotected sex. The copper IUD must then be inserted within 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. To reduce the risk of pregnancy, you must keep the copper IUD for at least 7 days before removal. It may also be left in for up to 5 years as contraceptive.
Written by: General Practitioner Anne Marte Ladim
Last updated: 20. March 2020
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