In recent years more and more women apply to health-care specialists, in order to find the best contraceptive method.
Intrauterine device is a good option for those, who don’t want to swallow pills every day and use condoms.
This small T-shaped thing is inserted into the womb in order to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
It’s one of the most efficient methods of long-term contraception. Device should be fixed and removed only by medical professional.
There are two different types of IUDs.
Hormonal devices release low levels of progestin (synthetic analog to female hormone progesterone) into the endometrium (internal uterine lining). This makes cervical mucus thick, so it becomes hard for male sperm to invade into the cervix. In addition to this, hormonal IUDs reduce endometrial growth. As a result, it appear extremely difficult for fertilized egg to stick to the uterine wall.
Second type is non-hormonal IUDs, which contain copper. This element immobilizes sperm and doesn’t allow it to reach the fallopian tubes.
Depending on the kind of IUD, they provide pregnancy prevention for three to ten years.
However like all medical procedures and devices, IUDs may cause some side effects, especially at the first time after insertion. Here are the most frequent problems, and what to do with them:
#1. Unbearable cramps – you may feel spasms and aching in the lower abdomen several hours and even days after IUD placement. The good news is that most women with hormonal devices have fewer menstrual cramps in the future. The copper device can cause severe cramping, which usually go away after several months.
Tip: if uncomfortable sensations in the pelvis disturb your life, try non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like naproxen or ibuprofen to relieve symptoms.
#2. Vaginal bleeding – it’s not uncommon for women to experience spotting or bleeding few weeks or months after insertion. That’s especially true for those, who have copper IUD.
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Tip: don’t worry about vaginal bleeding that becomes apparent after putting the IUD. If heavy bleeding occurs after months or years of using device, make an appointment with your doctor to make sure that everything goes right.
#3. Discomfort during sex – your intrauterine device shouldn’t cause any discomfort during intercourses. If your partner feels the strings, it can mean that they haven’t softened yet (this usually happens within few months), or that the IUD is positioned incorrectly.
Tip: consult with your ob-gyn to check, if your device sits normally inside your womb.
#4. Unusual discharge – unfortunately, IUDs don’t protect you from sexually transmitted infection. Furthermore, it was found that risks of getting STD are even higher in the course of first four months after placing this device.
Tip: practice safe intercourses, especially if you have more than one partner. If you’ve noticed any new fluid or odor from your private part, visit the doctor immediately.
#5. You don’t feel the strings – some women panic, when didn’t find IUD strings, thinking that it has run off inside your womb.
Tip: it’s completely normal not to feel strings, when they become softer and roll up behind the cervix. You can ask your partner to help you find it. During your regular appointment, doctor can check your device and explain, why you don’t feel the strings.
#6. IUD has fall out – even though the cervix normally keeps the IUD in right place, the device may occasionally fall out. It’s most commonly occurs in women with uterine fibroids, in those who didn’t carry pregnancy or if you have put the IUD shortly after delivery or abortion. Specialists say that in the majority of cases device falls out during menstruation.
Tip: don’t try to push your IUD, if feel too long strings or a part of device. Visit your doctor to know exactly, whether your IUD stays in normal position in the womb.
#7. Irregular periods – hormonal IUDs usually make your period much lighter or lead to skipping periods at all. Many women find it uncomfortable that menses may come and go by their own, without any schedule.
Tip: if irregular periods, accompanied by extreme fatigue, headache and lightheadedness, have become the new norm, it’s time to make appointment with health-care specialist.
#8. Acne – you have probably heard that hormonal medications can help cope with acne, but you haven’t noticed any improvement in your breakouts.
Tip: the truth is that unlike oral contraceptives, both types of IUDs don’t make any influence on the acne. Try masks, serums and other products to get rid of your skin blemish effectively.
#9. Ovarian cyst – according to statistics, nearly 12 in every 100 women with hormonal IUD have ovarian cysts. And most of them don’t even know about this.
Tip: cysts usually come and go without treatment. Seek for medical help, if you feel sharp pain in the pelvic area, as it may be a symptom of cyst rupture.
#10. Pregnancy symptoms – if the IUD is pulled out unnoticed, chances of getting pregnant become extremely high. There is also a small chance to conceive, when IUD is still in its place.
Tip: if you’re suspected to being pregnant, contact with medical professional without delay. Be aware that risks of miscarriage are increased to 50%, while the IUD stays in the uterus.
#11. Cancer risks – some studies show that there is a link between hormonal IUD and elevated risks of ovarian, endometrial, lung and even pancreatic cancers. Copper devices, in turn, can boost your hazards of endometrial and cervical neoplasms.
Tip: talk with your doctor about possible risks. Family history is a very important factor in this question.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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