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Intra-uterine device is widely called IUD. This device is fitted inside your uterus. It helps stop sperm cell from reaching the eggs. This method of birth control is known for reversibility and for its long-action. The odds of pregnancy stand reduced to less than 0.95%. It is a safe thing to use while you are feeding breastmilk to your infant. However, an IUD does not offer protection from sexually transmitted diseases or associated infections. But, what are the common side effects of using IUD? It is essential to have the details prior to start using it.

What is an IUD?

The intra-uterine device (IUD) is also known as the intra-uterine contraceptive device (ICD or IUCD). It is also referred to as the “coil”. This T-resembling device is inserted deep inside the uterus. This insertion plays a key role in avoiding pregnancies. It is a popular contraceptive measure owing to its reversibility and is also known of its long-acting potential. Upon removal of this T-device, fertility turns normal i.e., even if you had been having it for a longer timeframe.

IUDs are of two broad categories; 1- non-hormonal / copper-based device and 2- hormonal device. Of these two, metallic (copper) IUDs are known to discharge ions of copper. These ions are toxic to sperm cells. This type of IUD is also used as a contraceptive for emergencies; you can use it within 4 to 5 days of having unprotected sexual intercourse.

On the other hand, hormonal IUDs release progestogen; this thickens the cervical walls and prevents sperm cells from reaching your eggs. Such IUDs may also inhibit the ovulation process, but only to a limited extent.

What are the side effects of intra-uterine device (IUD)?

Use of IUD – – regardless of their type – may cause a few undesired side effects. Most commonly observed adverse effects include altered pattern of menstrual bleeding, inflammation of the pelvic region, etc. Erratic menstrual cycles or missing of periods (a condition called amenorrhea) may occur in the initial weeks (post-insertion) of hormonal IUDs.

IUD has a string attached to it; it may remain stiff initially i.e., soon after insertion. This stiffness may at times be noticed by your partner. However, the strings are bound to soften over a period of time. But, if they remain stiff for long, you are advised to consult with your caregiving team.

Other possible side effects include – accidental piercing/perforating the walls of your uterine tract. This may occur when the device is inserted. Another adverse effect is expulsion; this refers to the device slipping off the uterine tract. This is more likely to occur in the initial weeks following the insertion of an IUD.

In some rare cases, perforated uterus is also witnessed. A mild chance of unplanned pregnancy cannot be ruled out; in such cases, ectopic mode of pregnancies is possible. Some women may experience cysts forming in their ovaries, often accompanied by heavier spells of menstrual periods.

It is also possible to develop a few mental conditions; for example: mood changes, being nervous or anxious, depression, etc. IUDs of the prior generation (widely called Dalkon-shield) carried remote risks of infections as well as infertility. However, the current versions of IUDs do not carry such side effects. In any case, your doctor will clean the cervical region prior to inserting an IUD; this process eliminates likely incidence of infections.

In sum, an IUD is an effective and a safer approach to control of pregnancy. These can remain in your uterus and prevent pregnancies for a few years. It is important to know the side effects and risks associated with the use of IUDs. Also, take the advice of your caregiver on which IUD i.e., hormonal or non-hormonal option, suits you best.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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