Preparing For Your IUD Insertion

Preparing For Your IUD Insertion

So, you booked your IUD appointment. What’s next?  📆

Getting an IUD is a great decision. Well done you! 😋 With any luck, your insertion will be 5 minutes of pain for 5 years of gain(1) i.e. not getting pregnant (and having lighter or no periods if you get a Hormonal IUD) 👀(2). Let’s do this! 🥳

funafternoon.jpg

Days before

  • Invite a friend to go with you to your appointment. You should feel supported on the day, not alone! If they have gotten an IUD before, that’s even better
  • Plan a “treat yourself” afternoon for after your insertion. Organize to eat at your favorite restaurant, or watch your favorite movie. Girl, you deserve it 🥰
  • Ask someone to pick you up or plan to get a lift after your insertion. I was able to walk straight out of the clinic, but other people feel crampy, so it’s a good option to have
  • Make sure you are not pregnant on the day of your insertion. You should be on your period, not had sex since your last period, or have been using effective birth control (e.g. the pill and a condom combined)
distractyourself.jpg

On the day

  • Don’t forget to take painkillers an hour before your insertion. 3 pills (600mg) of ibuprofen should do
  • Girl gotta be on time 🕰
  • Chat to your friend or distract yourself on your phone while you’re in the waiting room. I recommend Tiktok or watching The Office scenes on Youtube
  • The doctors will ask you to pee in a cup or take a pregnancy test to make sure you’re not pregnant. You might have to wait for these results
  • If you feel nervous, take some deep breaths and sip some water. Almost 1 million girls in the United States alone get an IUD every year(3), so you can too. You got this! 💪🏽
preinsertionkit.jpg

What to expect during the procedure

It will be painful, but all these steps take about 2 minutes. Take some deep breaths, hang in there, and it’ll be over before you know it:

  1. You sit down on the bench and remove your clothes from the waist down, putting a sheet over you for privacy
  2. Doctor inserts the speculum to open up your vagina (uncomfortable)
  3. Doctor may clean your cervix with antiseptic and apply local anaesthesia
  4. Doctor may sound your uterus to see how big it is (uncomfortable)
  5. Doctor places the IUD through your cervix into your uterus (uncomfortable)
  6. Doctor cuts your IUD strings around 2 inches long
overquickly.jpg

Bleeding is normal, so don’t freak out if there is some blood on the bench afterwards. Well done!! You did it 💪🏽

The rest of that day

  • Enjoy your “treat yourself” afternoon. Did I mention you’re the shit? 🤩
  • Take some pain killers and get some rest if you’re feeling crampy  😴
  • Use some panty liners so you don’t stain your underwear. Spotting and bleeding is normal 👍🏽
postinsertionkit.jpg




The days after

  • Keep up with the painkillers, rest and panty liners if you are cramping and spotting
  • Spotting can last for a couple of months as your body adjusts, especially with Hormonal IUDs(4) (I spotted for 1 ½ months)
  • Use condoms if you have sex in the first week after getting a Hormonal IUD. This is not needed for a Paragard / Copper IUD

A week and more after

  • With the Hormonal IUD, you might stop getting your period. This is normal, and does not mean you are pregnant. Enjoy it! 😎
  • With the Copper IUD, your periods may get crampier and heavier. Stock up on period products and take pain killers when you feel it coming on
  • You can check your IUD strings by sticking your clean fingers up your vagina to your cervix. I’ve never checked my strings, but some people find it reassuring to know that their IUD is in there

Last but not least

Make sure you still use condoms to protect yourself against STDs 😉

youllstillneedthese.jpg
IMG_0862+copy.jpg

Congrats! 💕 You made it! Have a great couple years of freedom 🥳


(1) I’m not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This is for general education purposes only. Don't go against what your doctor said because of what you read here. Thank you 😅

(2) 10 years if you get Paragard (Copper IUD), 5 years if you get the Mirena, Kyleena or Liletta (all Hormonal IUDs), 3 years if you get the Skyla (Hormonal IUD)

(3) Guttmacher Institute. (2019, December 9). Contraceptive Use in the United States. In Guttmacher.org. Retrieved 18:18, December 9, 2019, from https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/contraceptive-use-united-states

(4) Hatcher RA et al., eds., Contraceptive Technology, 21th ed., New York: Ayer Company Publishers, 2018; p183

Preparing For Your IUD Insertion

So, you booked your IUD appointment. What’s next?  📆

Getting an IUD is a great decision. Well done you! 😋 With any luck, your insertion will be 5 minutes of pain for 5 years of gain(1) i.e. not getting pregnant (and having lighter or no periods if you get a Hormonal IUD) 👀(2). Let’s do this! 🥳

funafternoon.jpg

Days before

  • Invite a friend to go with you to your appointment. You should feel supported on the day, not alone! If they have gotten an IUD before, that’s even better
  • Plan a “treat yourself” afternoon for after your insertion. Organize to eat at your favorite restaurant, or watch your favorite movie. Girl, you deserve it 🥰
  • Ask someone to pick you up or plan to get a lift after your insertion. I was able to walk straight out of the clinic, but other people feel crampy, so it’s a good option to have
  • Make sure you are not pregnant on the day of your insertion. You should be on your period, not had sex since your last period, or have been using effective birth control (e.g. the pill and a condom combined)
distractyourself.jpg

On the day

  • Don’t forget to take painkillers an hour before your insertion. 3 pills (600mg) of ibuprofen should do
  • Girl gotta be on time 🕰
  • Chat to your friend or distract yourself on your phone while you’re in the waiting room. I recommend Tiktok or watching The Office scenes on Youtube
  • The doctors will ask you to pee in a cup or take a pregnancy test to make sure you’re not pregnant. You might have to wait for these results
  • If you feel nervous, take some deep breaths and sip some water. Almost 1 million girls in the United States alone get an IUD every year(3), so you can too. You got this! 💪🏽
preinsertionkit.jpg

What to expect during the procedure

It will be painful, but all these steps take about 2 minutes. Take some deep breaths, hang in there, and it’ll be over before you know it:

  1. You sit down on the bench and remove your clothes from the waist down, putting a sheet over you for privacy
  2. Doctor inserts the speculum to open up your vagina (uncomfortable)
  3. Doctor may clean your cervix with antiseptic and apply local anaesthesia
  4. Doctor may sound your uterus to see how big it is (uncomfortable)
  5. Doctor places the IUD through your cervix into your uterus (uncomfortable)
  6. Doctor cuts your IUD strings around 2 inches long
overquickly.jpg

Bleeding is normal, so don’t freak out if there is some blood on the bench afterwards. Well done!! You did it 💪🏽

The rest of that day

  • Enjoy your “treat yourself” afternoon. Did I mention you’re the shit? 🤩
  • Take some pain killers and get some rest if you’re feeling crampy  😴
  • Use some panty liners so you don’t stain your underwear. Spotting and bleeding is normal 👍🏽
postinsertionkit.jpg




The days after

  • Keep up with the painkillers, rest and panty liners if you are cramping and spotting
  • Spotting can last for a couple of months as your body adjusts, especially with Hormonal IUDs(4) (I spotted for 1 ½ months)
  • Use condoms if you have sex in the first week after getting a Hormonal IUD. This is not needed for a Paragard / Copper IUD

A week and more after

  • With the Hormonal IUD, you might stop getting your period. This is normal, and does not mean you are pregnant. Enjoy it! 😎
  • With the Copper IUD, your periods may get crampier and heavier. Stock up on period products and take pain killers when you feel it coming on
  • You can check your IUD strings by sticking your clean fingers up your vagina to your cervix. I’ve never checked my strings, but some people find it reassuring to know that their IUD is in there

Last but not least

Make sure you still use condoms to protect yourself against STDs 😉

youllstillneedthese.jpg
IMG_0862+copy.jpg

Congrats! 💕 You made it! Have a great couple years of freedom 🥳


(1) I’m not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This is for general education purposes only. Don't go against what your doctor said because of what you read here. Thank you 😅

(2) 10 years if you get Paragard (Copper IUD), 5 years if you get the Mirena, Kyleena or Liletta (all Hormonal IUDs), 3 years if you get the Skyla (Hormonal IUD)

(3) Guttmacher Institute. (2019, December 9). Contraceptive Use in the United States. In Guttmacher.org. Retrieved 18:18, December 9, 2019, from https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/contraceptive-use-united-states

(4) Hatcher RA et al., eds., Contraceptive Technology, 21th ed., New York: Ayer Company Publishers, 2018; p183

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