IUDs are one of the most effective types of contraceptives available to women, boasting more than 99% efficacy when it comes to preventing pregnancy. There is nothing to remember like there is with contraceptive pills or condoms; IUDs provide long-term protection, and they have very few side effects.
While the insertion process is relatively painless, you will need to take some precautions in the beginning before you can enjoy protection from pregnancy. One of the big questions many women have when getting an IUD inserted is how it might impact sex and how long they should wait to have sex after getting the device.
How Soon After IUD Insertion Can You Have Sex?
Technically speaking, you may engage in sexual activity as soon after having an IUD inserted as you want. The only exception would be for those who have had an IUD inserted shortly after giving birth as the women in this category must wait until their doctor clears them for sexual activity at a post-partum checkup.
However, it is important to keep in mind that you may experience some side effects from the insertion procedure itself, such as spotting and cramping, and you may therefore not feel up to having sex. As long as you feel fine, however, there is no physical reason that you should not be able to engage in sexual activity.
It is also important to take into account the type of IUD you had inserted and how soon it will begin offering protection against pregnancy.
Copper IUDs such as ParaGard start protecting you from pregnancy right away. However, it is a little more complicated when it comes to hormonal IUDs. They only offer immediate protection from pregnancy if they are inserted in the first seven days of your period. If they are not inserted during that time, you should use an alternative form of contraception before relying solely on the IUD.
At your insertion appointment, your doctor will provide instructions on how long you need to wait in your particular case. If you have any doubt, it is advisable to use an alternative form of contraception.
Will Sex Be Painful After IUD Insertion?
You may feel some cramping and back pain within the first few hours or days following your IUD insertion. For most women, this pain goes away fairly quickly, after which point you should be unable to feel the device at all. Whether you are conducting your daily activities or enjoying any type of sexual activity, you should not experience any discomfort or pain.
Many women wonder if their partner will be able to feel the IUD. Because it is inserted into the uterus rather than the vagina, your partner should not feel the device itself as your cervix will block access to it. However, the IUD does contain strings that hang down into the vaginal canal to facilitate its eventual removal. Although these strings may be felt by your partner, they should not be uncomfortable, and your partner is likely to become less aware of them over time.. In some cases, the strings may be too long, so if you do find them bothersome, you can ask your doctor to trim them during your next appointment.
Can an IUD Be Dislodged by Sexual Activity?
An IUD is placed in the uterus and not the vagina, so it should stay in place even during rough or deep penetrative sex. The strings of an IUD are generally quite slippery due to vaginal secretion, so it is difficult to pull them out of place, even intentionally. This is why your doctor has to use a special tool to remove it rather than their fingers. Sex toys are also unlikely to latch onto the strings of an IUD and dislodge it.
Nevertheless, it is possible for IUDs to be expelled from the uterus. However, this is more likely if you have heavy periods or experience severe menstrual cramps. Most of these expulsions will occur within the first few months of having an IUD placed. There are also some reports of IUDs being dislodged due to use of a menstrual cup, so you may want to use an alternative form of protection during your periods.
Should I Bleed After Sex With an IUD?
Some women may experience irregular spotting or bleeding in the first few months following IUD insertion. This may occur after sexual activity, but it is typically due to IUD side effects rather than sexual activity. However, if you frequently experience bleeding following sexual activity, particularly if your IUD insertion was not recent, it is important to call your doctor to determine the cause.
Schedule an Appointment With the Women’s Health-Care Team
To learn more about how IUDs offer protection for pregnancy or if you have post-insertion questions or concerns about your device, schedule an appointment with the women’s health-care professionals at Raleigh Gynecology & Wellness today.