For women who are interested in a long-term birth control solution, an IUD (Intrauterine Device) can be incredibly beneficial. IUDs are an extremely dependable (over 99% effective according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and safe way to help protect against unwanted pregnancy. IUDs can be an excellent long-acting birth control option, but it’s important for women to know that an IUD will only work if it is inserted into the uterus correctly. Although it is rare, it is possible for an IUD to become displaced or even fall out. To help determine if something may be amiss, we wanted to discuss potential warning signs that an IUD is not correctly positioned.
There is a Difference in the Strings
An IUD has two thin strings that hang down from the end, which are used to help a gynecologist remove the device from the woman’s body. When properly in place, the strings will normally extend to the very top of the vagina. We recommend checking on these strings on a monthly basis to make sure the length still feels normal. If the strings are longer or shorter than normal (or cannot be felt at all), the IUD may be out of position.
You Notice Irregular Bleeding
Changes to menstruation are fairly common for women with IUDs. For women who use a hormone-based IUD, it’s normal for a period to be lighter (or even nonexistent) once the body fully adjusts to the device. Conversely, non-hormonal IUDs may make bleeding heavier in some women. However, if intense irregular bleeding or heavy spotting between periods, it could be due to the IUD being displaced.
You Experience Pain During Sex
For some women, intercourse may change slightly after getting an IUD. However, if sex becomes painful or uncomfortable, this could be a sign that the IUD isn’t where it should be. This pain can sometimes be caused by an IUD irritating other reproductive organs, such as the cervix.
The chances of experiencing any of these issues are very small and we absolutely still recommend IUDs as an excellent and safe way to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Still, it never hurts to be informed in case something irregular does occur. If you think there is a chance your IUD may have become displaced, it’s important to visit your reproductive healthcare provider as soon as possible. To request an appointment, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for additional health tips, news, and much more. You can also follow our full-service medical spa, MadEmEL Medical Aesthetics, on Facebook and Instagram.