IUDs, or intrauterine devices, are a popular form of birth control. In addition to being more than 99 percent effective, they also provide long-term efficacy. The copper versions are hormone-free, which makes them a good choice for women who want to avoid hormones in their birth control efforts.
Although IUDs have many advantages, one of the biggest concerns that many women have is the insertion process. After all, it entails introducing the device into your uterus. This is done by a gynecologist in their office, and there are two parts of insertion that may lead to pain. First, the insertion itself can be painful, although it is relatively quick. Second, once it is placed, the uterus will contract due to irritation, and this can lead to cramping.
Tips On How To Make IUD Insertion Less Painful
Although studies have shown that the pain that most women experience during IUD insertion is dramatically lower than they expected, there are some steps you can take to learn how to make iud insertion less painful.
Timing Is Everything
Some doctors recommend booking an appointment for an IUD placement toward the end of your period or on the first day or two after it has ended. This is because the cervix will be more open during this time.
Find An Experienced Doctor
Once you have decided to get an IUD, it is a good idea to ask if the doctor who will be doing the insertion has a lot of experience with the process. Those who have completed this procedure more frequently tend to be more successful at placing it comfortably.
Take An Over-The-Counter Painkiller Beforehand
One tip on how to make iud insertion less painful is taking some medicine. You might want to consider taking an anti-inflammatory over-the-counter painkiller, such as ibuprofen ahead of the insertion to help manage pain and relieve any cramping that might set in following the procedure.
Remember To Breathe
As difficult as it may be, it is important to try to relax during the procedure. Nerves can make both the insertion of the speculum as well as the placement of the IUD itself a more uncomfortable experience than it needs to be, so brush up on breathing exercises that can help you remain calm and relax your muscles to minimize pain.
Some doctors allow their patients to use headphones during the procedure to listen to music that calms them, while others use their phone to keep their mind off of what is going on. However, it is a good idea to check with your doctor beforehand as some prefer that their patients are paying full attention in case they need to talk to them during the insertion.
Don’t Go Hungry
Although you may be too nervous to eat before the procedure, it is important to eat something and stay hydrated. When you are tired and hungry, it can cause your blood sugar levels to drop, which will make you less comfortable during the procedure. You may also want to bring a snack with you to enjoy afterward.
Consider A Smaller IUD
If you have never had an IUD before, you may want to ask your doctor if a smaller IUD model is a viable choice for you. IUDs come in different shapes, and it may be possible that a smaller one will be just as effective in your case.
Have A Heating Pad Ready
For many women, cramps experienced from an IUD insertion are very similar to those you may have with a particularly bad period. Therefore, make sure you have a heating pad or any other cramp relief method that has been effective for you in the past prepared to make you more comfortable when you get home from your insertion.
Frame It Positively
Instead of being apprehensive about the procedure and fearing it, try to think about it in positive terms. Remind yourself why you are getting an IUD in the first place, such as the desire to skip daily pills or to prevent your body from unnecessary exposure to hormones. When you think of it this way, you may feel that the temporary discomfort is worth the benefits you stand to gain, which can make the experience far less unpleasant.
Reach Out For More Info On How To Make IUD Insertion Less Painful
If you would like to find out more about IUDs or any other type of birth control, get in touch with the contraceptive care specialists at Raleigh Gynecology & Wellness. Our team has many years of experience in providing women with effective contraceptive care.