IUD Insertion Appointment

The following information is originally sourced from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) website and the Planned Parenthood website. You can view this content from the original sources here and here.

How to prepare for your IUD Insertion Appointment:

Please make sure you have had something to eat before you come to the office for your appointment. If you are hungry when we insert the IUD, you may feel faint and can pass out during the insertion process.

About 20-30 minutes before your appointment, please take 800 mg of Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). This will help to ease any cramping you may have during and after the insertion.

If appropriate, your provider may prescribe Misoprostol to be taken several hours prior to your scheduled appointment. Misoprostol can dilate the cervix and may allow for easier insertion of the IUD. Please follow the instructions on your prescription.

The IUD can be inserted at any time during your menstrual cycle as long as it is reasonably certain that you are not pregnant. You may have a pregnancy test before the IUD is inserted. Your provider may perform sexually transmitted infection tests either before insertion or on the day of insertion.

To insert the IUD, it is placed in a slender plastic tube. The tube is inserted into the vagina and guided through the cervix into the uterus. The tube is withdrawn, leaving the IUD in place.

Insertion of the IUD can cause cramping and discomfort. Taking over-the-counter ibuprofen before the procedure, and for up to 24- 48 hours after the procedure may help. In addition, your provider may recommend injecting anesthetic directly into the cervix prior to placement of the IUD to further help with the discomfort of the insertion.

The IUD has a string made of thin plastic threads. After insertion, the strings are trimmed so that 1–2 inches of it extends past the cervix into your vagina. The strings should not bother you, but in rare cases your partner may feel them with his penis. If this occurs and it is a problem, your provider may be able to trim the strings further.

You can rely on the hormonal IUD to protect against pregnancy right after insertion if it is inserted within 7 days of the start of your menstrual period. If it is inserted more than 7 days after the start of your menstrual period, you should not have sexual intercourse or you should use a backup method, such as a condom, for the next 7 days. With the copper IUD, you are protected immediately and you do not have to use a backup method or avoid intercourse.

Finally, please remember that until you receive your IUD, you are not protected from pregnancy. Please continue using any hormonal method until the IUD is inserted. If you are not using a hormonal method, please use condoms until your visit.

Please contact Pacific Women's OB/GYN Medical Group with questions or concerns.