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IUD Insertion and Removal: What to Expect and Common Concerns

IUD Insertion and Removal – In recent times, the landscape of contraceptive practices has undergone a significant transformation. It is marked by a notable surge in awareness that has contributed to a reduction in unplanned pregnancies. 

Leading this transformative wave is the Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUD) market. As per Mordor Intelligence, the IUD market is projected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3% during the forecast period 2024 to 2029. 

Acknowledged for its convenience, safety, and efficacy, the use of IUDs is experiencing a consistent upward trend each year. As women increasingly prioritize reproductive choices, IUDs have solidified their position within the spectrum of available contraceptive methods.

This article explains in detail the IUD insertion and removal, guiding through the process while addressing common concerns.

Types of IUDs Available in the Market

IUDs are a formidable category of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), embedded within the uterus to thwart pregnancy. This contraceptive method, recognized for its effectiveness and duration, is available in various types, each tailored to meet diverse preferences and needs. 

According to LifeSciencesIntelligence, IUDs are small, T-shaped devices made from either copper or plastic, often with a hormone-releasing component. These devices function by altering cervical mucus, hindering sperm movement, and impacting the uterine lining. This prevents fertilization and the implantation of a fertilized egg.

There are five FDA-approved IUDs in the United States market, presenting both copper and hormonal variants. Paragard, a non-hormonal copper IUD, relies on copper’s natural properties to create a sperm-toxic environment. While it offers longer-term contraception, its failure rate is slightly higher than its hormonal counterparts.

The four FDA-approved hormonal IUDs—Mirena, Skyla, Liletta, and Kyleena—release levonorgestrel, a progestin hormone, into the uterus. This hormone thickens cervical mucus, obstructing sperm-egg interaction, and thins the uterine lining, reducing its receptivity to implantation. 

Hormonal IUDs provide contraception for durations ranging from 3 to 8 years, offering additional benefits related to reproductive health. They are often prescribed for conditions like endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, and heavy periods, and may alleviate period-related discomfort.

Mirena, with extended FDA approval for up to 8 years, stands out as the longest-lasting hormonal IUD in the American market. Skyla, suitable for those who haven’t given birth, has dimensions and levonorgestrel release designed to minimize hormonal impact. 

Liletta, approved for up to 6 years, provides an affordable option through the 340B Drug Pricing Program. Kyleena, the latest entrant, offers up to 5 years of contraception with lower hormone levels. 

This extensive array of IUD options showcases the advancements in contraceptive technology, catering to individual preferences and health considerations.

IUD Insertion

Preparation for IUD insertion involves taking over-the-counter pain medication a few days before managing potential discomfort. Your doctor will also inquire about your medical history and conduct a pelvic exam to ensure safe placement. 

The insertion procedure involves your doctor guiding the IUD through the cervix and into the uterus using a speculum and a thin tube. While some cramping or pinching sensations may be experienced, most women tolerate the procedure well.

After the insertion, expect mild cramping and spotting for a few days, alleviated by rest and the use of a heating pad. A follow-up visit within 4-6 weeks is usually scheduled to check the IUD’s placement and address any concerns.

According to The New York Times, the discomfort during insertion is attributed to the need for the T-shaped device to navigate through the cervix. The cervix, with numerous pain-signaling nerves, can make manipulation uncomfortable. 

The physiological closure of the cervix requires a certain amount of pressure for the IUD to pass through. This can be more pronounced in women who haven’t given birth. Pain perception varies, and doctors can offer targeted pain management options focusing on the cervix or more generalized relief. 

However, individual responses to pain management are unique, making it crucial for doctors to tailor approaches to each woman’s specific needs.

IUD Removal

The process of IUD removal can be scheduled at any time before its expiration date. It resembles closely with the insertion process, typically taking about 5-10 minutes. 

During removal, your doctor will gently pull the IUD’s strings to extract it from the uterus. Similar to the insertion experience, cramping and spotting may be encountered after removal, with over-the-counter pain medication effectively managing any discomfort.

Regarding fertility, it quickly returns after IUD removal. While most women can conceive within a few months, individual experiences may vary.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the Paragard lawsuit associated with IUD complications. The Paragard IUD, manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals, has been linked to serious complications, particularly device breakage during removal. This has led to numerous lawsuits against its manufacturers, with over 2,200 cases filed in federal court. 

According to TorHoerman Law, allegations include the failure to adequately warn about potential risks. Plaintiffs have also reported severe complications, including the need for invasive surgeries due to IUD breakage. Individuals involved in these lawsuits are seeking compensation for injuries sustained due to the device, including medical expenses, pain, and suffering.

Common Concerns and Reassurances

Pain during IUD insertion and removal is a common concern, but these procedures are generally well-tolerated. Any discomfort can be further minimized with pre-medication and relaxation techniques, ensuring a smoother experience for the individual.

Infection risk after IUD insertion is exceptionally low, particularly when proper hygiene measures and follow-up care are observed. Adhering to post-insertion care guidelines significantly mitigates the likelihood of infection, providing reassurance to those considering or undergoing the procedure.

Displacement of IUDs is a rare occurrence due to their secure placement within the uterus. Regular gynecological checkups and self-checks of the IUD strings contribute to confirming the device’s proper positioning. These routine measures offer additional reassurance regarding the reliability and stability of the IUD.

Side effects, such as irregular bleeding or spotting, may occur for some women, but they typically resolve within a few months. Persistent concerns should be communicated with a healthcare provider.

In Conclusion, the IUD offers a convenient and effective method of birth control, providing peace of mind for years to come. By understanding the insertion and removal process, you can make an informed decision about whether an IUD is right for you. 

Remember, every woman’s experience is unique. Open communication with your doctor and a realistic understanding of the process can empower you to choose the best contraceptive option for your needs.


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