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(Besides very reliable birth control.)

Dr. Roshini Raj
January 18, 2016

I'm considering getting an IUD, but will the insertion be really painful?

Don't worry: The insertion process for the IUD (which stands for intrauterine device) is quick and typically not very painful. While the doctor is inserting the device through your cervical canal into your uterus, you may feel a pinch, poke or deep cramping; the feeling usually goes away within a few minutes. Some women also feel nauseated or dizzy and need to stay lying down in the doctor's office for a short period afterward. Taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory one to two hours prior to the insertion can help ease the pain.

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If pelvic or abdominal pain or tenderness continues after the procedure, let your doctor know. Sometimes the IUD can move out of place or perforate the uterine wall or cervix. This is super rare, but obviously not something you would want to miss.

Though getting an IUD put in may sound scary, it can be an excellent choice for many women. In fact, a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed that the percentage of women who choose long-acting reversible contraception, or LARC—which includes IUDs and hormonal implants—has nearly doubled in recent years (though the pill is still the most popular method).

Health‘s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is associate professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine and co-founder of Tula Skincare.

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