Updated: Oct 31, 2019
There are lots of methods of contraception and the IUD is a very popular one. An IUD is a small, T-shaped plastic and copper device that's put into your womb (uterus) by a doctor or nurse. It releases copper to stop you getting pregnant and protects against pregnancy for between 5 and 10 years. It's sometimes called a "coil" or "copper coil". It has lots of benefits over other forms of contraception, but it also has a couple of disadvantages. Many women experience heavy or painful periods after they’ve had one fitted. EmpressBody has put together an overview of what happens when you get an IUD, what can happen and how you can ease and discomfort. And, good news! You can use the EmpressBody pearls even if you have an IUD! But we do suggest that women avoid using the EmpressBody Detox Pearls if the IUD has been inserted within the last month.
At a glance: facts about the IUD
When inserted correctly, IUDs are more than 99% effective.An IUD works as soon as it's put in and lasts for 5 to 10 years, depending on the type. It can be put in at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as you're not pregnant. It can be taken out at any time by a specially trained doctor or nurse. It's then possible to get pregnant straight away. Your periods can be heavier, longer or more painful in the first 3 to 6 months after an IUD is put in. You might get spotting or bleeding between periods. There's a small risk of getting an infection after it's been fitted. There's a small risk that your body may push out the IUD or it may move – your doctor or nurse will teach you how to check it's in place. It can be uncomfortable when the IUD is put in, but painkillers can help. It may not be suitable if you've had previous pelvic infections. It doesn't protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so you may need to use condoms as well.
How it works
The IUD is similar to the intrauterine system (IUS), but instead of releasing the hormone progestogen like the IUS, the IUD releases copper into the womb. The copper alters the cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg and survive. It can also stop a fertilised egg from being able to implant itself.
Having an IUD fitted
An IUD can be fitted at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as you're not pregnant. You'll be protected against pregnancy straight away.
Before your IUD is fitted, a GP or nurse will check inside your vagina to check the position and size of your womb. You may be tested for any existing infections, such as STIs, and be given antibiotics.
The appointment takes about 20 to 30 minutes, and fitting the IUD should take no longer than 5 minutes: the vagina is held open, like it is during a smear test (cervical screening) the IUD is inserted through the cervix and into the womb .
Having an IUD fitted can be uncomfortable, but you can have a local anesthetic to help.
You may get period-type cramps afterwards, but painkillers can ease the cramps. You may also bleed for a few days after having an IUD fitted.
Once an IUD has been fitted, it'll need to be checked by a GP after 3 to 6 weeks to make sure everything is fine.
How to tell if it's still in place
An IUD has two thin threads that hang down a little way from your womb into the top of your vagina. The GP or nurse that fits your IUD will teach you how to feel for these threads and check that it's still in place.
Check your IUD is in place a few times in the first month and then after each period, or at regular intervals. It's very unlikely that your IUD will come out, but if you can't feel the threads or think it's moved, you may not be protected against pregnancy. Your partner shouldn't be able to feel your IUD during sex.
Removing an IUD
Your IUD can be removed at any time by a trained doctor or nurse. If you're not having another IUD put in and you don't want to get pregnant, use additional contraception, such as condoms, for 7 days before you have it removed. It's possible to get pregnant as soon as the IUD has been taken out.
Who can use an IUD
Most women can use an IUD, including those who are HIV positive. The IUD may not be suitable if you: think you might be pregnant have an untreated STI or a pelvic infection have problems with your womb or cervix have unexplained bleeding between periods or after sex.
Using an IUD after giving birth
An IUD can usually be fitted 4 weeks after giving birth (vaginal or cesarean). You'll need to use alternative contraception from 3 weeks (21 days) after the birth until the IUD is put in.
In some cases, an IUD can be fitted within 48 hours of giving birth. It's safe to use an IUD when you're breastfeeding, and it won't affect your milk supply.
Click here to read more about how EmpressBody can help you after you’ve given birth
Using an IUD after a miscarriage or abortion
An IUD can be fitted by an experienced GP or nurse straight after an abortion or miscarriage. You'll be protected against pregnancy immediately.
Advantages and disadvantages of the IUD
Although an IUD is an effective method of contraception, there are some things to consider before having one fitted.
It protects against pregnancy for 5 or 10 years, depending on the type, once an IUD is fitted, it works straight away.Most women can use it. There are no hormonal side effects, such as acne, headaches or breast tenderness. It doesn't interrupt sex. It's safe to use an IUD if you're breastfeeding. It's possible to get pregnant as soon as the IUD is removed. It's not affected by other medicines. There's no evidence that an IUD will affect your weight or increase the risk of cervical cancer, cancer of the uterus or ovarian cancer.
Your periods may become heavier, longer or more painful, though this may improve after a few months. It doesn't protect against STIs, so you may need to use condoms as well. If you get an infection when you have an IUD fitted, it could lead to a pelvic infection if not treated.Most women who stop using an IUD do so because of vaginal bleeding and pain, although these side effects are uncommon.
How can EmpressBody hep with heavy or painful periods?
The EmpressBody Detox Pearls
EmpressBody pearls work by the specially selected herbs creating a pulling effect that draws toxins, bad bacteria, dead cells, old blood clots, mucus and more from your yoni, while at the same time tightening your yoni and deterring vaginal dryness and other ailments.
Click here to view the full range of EmpressBody yoni wellness products
Click here to view the full range of EmpressBody body wellness products