Can I Get Pregnant With an IUD Inside Me? (And Other Pressing IUD Questions)
The official stance on the Paragard and Mirena IUDs is that they are 2 of the safest and most effective forms of birth control available on the market. Millions of women use them and enjoy long-term, worry-free birth control with only a few minor side effects. But, as is true of every single medication and medical device, there is no such thing as 100% effective and completely risk-free. When deciding which birth control is right for you, the important thing is to get your questions answered and then make an educated choice. Here are the answers to some of the important questions you may have about the IUD devices.
Does It Hurt?
In order to measure your uterus and insert the IUD, your Ob/Gyn will have to put a clamp on your cervix in order to access the uterus. The amount of pain associated with this varies from woman to woman. For some, the insertion can be very painful, but it is short in duration. My recommendation would be to take the pre-procedure 800mg of ibuprofen your doctor will recommend. After the procedure you will experience mild to moderate cramping and bloating, which can be uncomfortable but is generally not debilitating.
Beyond insertion, the devices differ in the pain associated with them. Mirena generally causes a lessening of period-related cramps. Paragard, on the other hand, often makes cramping more severe, especially for the first 6 months to a year of use. For the first 3 to 6 months, you may experience contraction-like cramps and heavy bleeding. The severity of cramping and bleeding usually diminishes between the 6-month and one-year marks. This may sound like a long time, but keep in mind that this device can be used for up to 12 years.
Can I Get Pregnant With an IUD Inside Me?
Both Mirena and Paragard are marketed as 99% effective. But 99% is not 100%. No birth control method, besides abstinence, offers complete protection. With perfect use, you have a 1.5% chance of pregnancy with Mirena and a 0.6% chance with Paragard. The overall risk of pregnancy, therefore, is very low, but it can still happen. If you are experiencing the symptoms of pregnancy, take a home pregnancy test just to be sure. This is a good idea for 2 reasons:
- IUDs increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, meaning a fertilized egg implants in a Fallopian tube instead of the uterus. This is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical attention.
- If the fertilized egg does implant in the uterus with the IUD, the pregnancy is considered high-risk. The chances of miscarriage are high and you will need to consult with a doctor as soon as possible to review your options.
Can the IUD Hurt Me?
The IUD is considered by the medical field to be relatively safe, but it is not completely risk-free. There have been reports, for example, of Mirena perforating the uterus and even migrating through the body. In these cases, surgery is most likely the only option for removal. The most common adverse event for both Mirena and Paragard is device expulsion, which can lead to unintended pregnancy.
Do I Need to Do Anything After It’s Inserted?
One of the benefits of an IUD is that you do not have to think about it every day. You should, however, check the strings on the IUD periodically to make sure that they are still in place. If you cannot find the stings, you should make an appointment with your doctor, as 1 of 2 things has happened. Most likely, you expelled the device, but it may also have become dislocated. Also, you should get the device checked 4 to 6 weeks after insertion and then once per year after that.Do you have any other questions about using the Mirena or Paragard IUDs? Any advice for someone who is considering it?
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For sexually active women, he effectiveness of birth control depends on how perfectly they use it. For this reason, there are two kinds of effectiveness rates. One measurement is for perfect use, as the method is tested in the lab or used in real life with no mistakes.
The other is typical use, the average including people who don’t always use the method correctly or every time sexual intercourse takes place.Get Answer »