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HealthInfo Canterbury

Inserting an IUD or IUS

inserting IUDIf you decide to use an IUD or IUS for contraception, you'll need to make an appointment to get it inserted.

If your GP doesn't insert IUDs, they'll refer you to another GP who does. You can also go to a Family Planning Clinic.

The GP you're referred to may want you to have an extra appointment before they put in your IUD.

You'll usually need to have swab or urine test for infection before your IUD is fitted.

To make sure you aren't pregnant when your IUD is fitted, you must either:

Women who shouldn't have an IUD or IUS

Please tell your GP if you:

Inserting the IUD

Before the appointment

It's a good idea to take some pain relief one to two hours before your appointment. Paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen are suitable.

You should arrange to have someone you can call to come and collect you in case you feel too unwell to drive, although this is very unlikely. You might like to arrange a support person to come with you.

During the appointment

First, the doctor will want to check the size and position of your womb. They'll do this by gently placing two fingers in your vagina then placing their other hand on the lower part of your abdomen.

The doctor will then insert an instrument called a speculum into your vagina (like when you have a smear test).

They'll place a holder on your cervix to keep it steady while they move a thin instrument through your cervix into your womb. This measures the length of your uterus and opens the cervix so the IUD can be inserted.

The doctor will then insert the IUD.

You may feel some cramping while this is happening.

After the appointment

When will I be safe from pregnancy?

Copper IUDs protect you against pregnancy as soon as they're fitted.

A Mirena or Jaydess IUS doesn't work as a contraceptive until seven days after it's put in (unless it's fitted within seven days of the start of your period).

Follow-up

You may have a follow-up visit six weeks after the procedure with your GP or the GP who performed the procedure. This is to check the strings from the IUD or IUS and discuss any concerns you might have about the device.

If you have any problems before this appointment, contact your GP or the after-hours service.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2019.

Page reference: 31774

Review key: HICAS-53138