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Four IUD myths busted

Women are generally quite pleased with their decision to get an intrauterine device (IUD). According to this study, after a year of having an IUD, 83% of women were happy with it, and 75% said the insertion procedure had gone “very well.” Almost 90% were still using their IUD at the one-year point, and 87% were likely to recommend it to a friend. 

Despite these positive experiences, clinicians like Tryon Medical Partners gynecology specialist Dr. Erin Stone work with patients every day who are hesitant about IUDs and fear side effects. 

“My patients often come in and I hear all about the horror stories they have seen online,” Dr. Stone shares. “There are a few risks, including bleeding, infection, ectopic pregnancy and uterine perforation. They are extremely rare but they can happen.” 

To set the record straight, Dr. Stone busts some of the circulating myths about common IUD side effects: 

MYTH #1: IUDs cause infertility issues. FACT: THEY DO NOT. As soon as someone wants to get pregnant they can take out their IUD and become pregnant immediately. In comparison, with birth control pills it takes up to three months for the effects to wear off. 

MYTH #2: IUDs cause weight gain. FACT: WEIGHT GAIN IS NOT TYPICAL. A handful of patients do experience weight gain as a side effect, but patients can select an IUD based on their priorities and desire to avoid certain side effects. 

MYTH #3: The placement procedure is intolerable. FACT: IT IS NOT INTOLERABLE. While the placement process is different for every patient, it takes an average of four minutes, and the pain subsides as the day goes on. The cervix will be dilated, which feels uncomfortable, but if patients are anxious, the clinician can provide medication to take some of the discomfort away. Dr. Stone assures patients that clinicians try to avoid as much pain as possible by conducting an ultrasound of the uterus before placement to ensure the uterine shape is appropriate for an IUD. 

MYTH #4: You can’t use tampons and have sex with an IUD. FACT: YOU CAN. However, Dr. Stone advises against the use of a menstrual cup, which may misalign the placement. Notably, IUDs do not protect against STIs, so Dr. Stone recommends using condoms. 

If you have more questions about IUDs, reach out to Tryon today to see when you can book an appointment and learn more.