Top of the page
The intrauterine device (IUD) is a very effective method of birth control. It is a small, plastic, T-shaped device that contains copper or hormones. The doctor inserts the IUD into your uterus. A plastic string tied to the end of the IUD hangs down through the cervix into the vagina.
There are two types of IUDs. The copper IUD is effective for 3 to 10 years, depending on which IUD is used. The hormonal IUD is effective for 3 to 5 years, depending on which IUD is used. The hormonal IUD also reduces menstrual bleeding and cramping. Both types of IUD damage or kill the man's sperm. This means that the woman's egg does not join with the sperm. IUDs also change the lining of the uterus so that the egg does not lodge there.
The IUD is most likely to work well for women who have been pregnant before. Some women who have never been pregnant have more trouble keeping the IUD in the uterus. They also may have more pain and cramping after insertion.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter U681 in the search box to learn more about "Intrauterine Device (IUD) Insertion: Care Instructions".
Current as of: May 29, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Rebecca Sue Uranga
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
©2006-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.