10 Doctor-Recommended Ways to Make Getting an IUD Less Painful

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iud insertion hurt less 01 photo credit: shutterstock

How to make your IUD insertion hurt less

There’s a reason why IUDs are surging in popularity. IUDs are a mistake-proof, long-term form of birth control. They are more than 99 percent effective, making them one of the best low-cost options out there. Plus, copper IUDs are hormone-free, making them an ideal choice for women looking to avoid hormones.

But when it comes to IUDs, most women only have one thing on their mind.  Will getting a IUD hurt?

The truth about IUD pain

“Two things cause pain during IUD procedures: When the IUD is being inserted and cramping from the placement because the uterus contracts from irritation,” explains Dr. Dustin Costescu, a family planning specialist and assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.

He admits that the internet is loaded with IUD insertion horror stories. But similar to most things posted online, he says most people are compelled to share only their bad experiences. Also, keep in mind that studies have show that the pain experienced during insertion was significantly lower than the pain most women expect.

While getting an IUD might not hurt as much as you think it will, you should still prepare for some pain and discomfort. In the next few pages, Dr. Costescu shares his 10 tips on how to make the insertion of your IUD not hurt.

(Related: What’s the Best Way to Switch Birth Control Pills?)

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photo credit: shutterstock

How to have a less painful IUD insertion

Get a smaller IUD

If this is your first IUD and you’re worried about your first time getting one inserted, talk to your doctor about smaller IUD options, says Dr. Costescu. Smaller types of IUDs, like Kyleena and Jaydess, will make the insertion less painful.

Ask how often your doctor does insertions

When you’re setting up your IUD appointment with your doctor, see if the doctor doing your insertion does the procedure frequently. “People who are more experienced inserters tend to have patients that experience less pain with the placement,” Dr. Costescu explains. If you’re not comfortable then ask for a referral to see a gynecologist, who may be more experienced with IUDs.

Book your appointment just after your period

The best time to place an IUD is at the tail end of your period, or the first day or two afterward, Dr. Costescu says. Placing an IUD during or around the time of menses will hurt less because your cervix is more open (after all the open cervix is what is letting your Aunt Flow flow), he adds.

(Related: The Honest, Expert-Backed Truth About Having Sex While on Your Period)

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