Scheduling your IUD (intrauterine device) insertion:

  • It is best to have the IUD placed while on your period. This ensures that you are not pregnant, and can make insertion less uncomfortable.
  • Choose a day that you don’t need to be your best (work, school, exam, travel) so you can recover at your own pace following insertion.
  • Plan to be at the appointment for 1 to 1 ½ hours, including recovery time following the insertion.


Before the appointment:

  • Continue using your current method of birth control until the IUD is inserted
  • If you are not currently using any forms of birth control, please abstain from unprotected intercourse for at least 14 days prior to your IUD insertion appointment.
  • Take 600mg ibuprofen (if allergy to ibuprofen or unable to take NSAIDs, take 1000mg Tylenol) 45 minutes before your appointment. Take this medication with food.
  • This will help prevent some cramping and discomfort that comes with an IUD insertion.
  • Eat a light meal before your appointment.


During the appointment:

  • You will be asked to leave a urine sample for a routine pregnancy test at the beginning of the appointment.
  • It is common to experience cramping during the procedure. Pre-medication, relaxation techniques and deep breathing will help.
  • Your provider will talk you through the steps of the IUD insertion to help you feel prepared and comfortable.


After the insertion:

  • You remain in the office for a brief recovery period, allowing you to have a drink/snack and slowly sit up.
  • You may experience intermittent menstrual-like cramping and light spotting. There may be irregular bleeding for the first few days to weeks after the procedure. As discussed with your provider, you may have irregular bleeding for up to 6 months. Depending on which device you chose, your period will then likely become light and possibly go away, or will establish a monthly pattern.
  • If you experience bleeding heavier than a regular period, or persistent cramping, please call our office to speak with a nurse at 301-681-6772.
  • You will need to schedule a follow-up appointment 4-6 weeks after insertion for an ultrasound and pelvic exam.


Self-Care at home:

  • You can take 600mg ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol) or naproxen (Aleve) as needed, following package instructions for use.
  • Do not insert anything into the vagina for 24 hours (tampon, douche, intercourse).
  • You can also use a heating pad or warm water bottle for cramping relief.
  • Call the on-call provider at 301-681-6772 if you develop a fever over 100.4֯ F, have pelvic pain that is not getting better with medication or worsening, severe vaginal bleeding (soaking through a pad or tampon every 1-2 hours), feel dizzy/lightheaded.
  • If you notice that the strings feel longer, or the IUD is expelled, please notify your provider. The IUD may be out of place and you should use a back-up method of birth control until evaluated.


Protecting against sexually-transmitted infections (STIs):

IUDs do not prevent STIs. The best way to prevent STI transmission is to use condoms with intercourse.