Will There Be Pain After My IUD Insertion?
In the first 24 hours after your insertion, you can expect cramping and some light bleeding, Dr. Cahill told POPSUGAR. Your uterus is pretty much trying to get rid of the IUD at this point, which is what brings about those cramps and any pain you might feel, but those symptoms should begin to ease after that first 24-hour period.
After that, it can take "anywhere from three weeks to three months for the IUD to really 'settle' in your uterus," Dr. Cahill said. "During that time, it is normal to have some cramping and irregular bleeding," which can range from light spotting to heavier bleeding.
One scary side effect you may have heard of is known as the "vaso-vagal reaction": feeling light-headed or fainting right after the IUD insertion. This can actually happen anytime someone touches your cervix, not just during an IUD insertion, because the nerves in your cervix are connected to the vagus nerve, which controls your heartbeat.
"Sometimes touching the cervix can make your heart beat slow down suddenly, giving you a light-headed feeling," Dr. Cahill explained. In rare cases, your heartbeat can decrease to the point of passing out. When you hear of people fainting from an IUD insertion, it's from this nervous system reaction, not from the amount of pain. Your care provider knows about this potential reaction going in and will have you lie down for a few minutes after the procedure until you feel OK to sit up, Dr. Cahill said.
After the procedure is over, there are a few symptoms you should keep an eye out for. Call your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Severe pain that can't be controlled with pain medication, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen (such as Tylenol).
- Heavy bleeding that soaks through more than two pads in an hour.
Pay attention to anything that just doesn't feel right to you, Dr. Cahill said. Don't hesitate to call your doctor if you have questions.