IUD Side Effects

There may well be changes to your periods following placement of the intrauterine device. The number of bleeding and spotting (a small amount of blood loss) days may increase during the first few months and bleeding may be heavier. The most common reasons for discontinuation of IUD use are unacceptable vaginal bleeding and pain.

Pelvic infections in intrauterine device users are often related to sexually transmitted diseases. Pelvic infections must be treated promptly as they may impair fertility and increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb). The intrauterine device must be removed if there are recurrent pelvic infections or infections of the lining of the womb or if an acute infection is severe or does not respond to treatment within a few days. Consult a healthcare professional without delay if you have persistent lower abdominal pain, fever, pain in conjunction with sexual intercourse or abnormal bleeding.

The muscular contractions of the womb during menstruation may sometimes push the intrauterine device out of place or expel it. Possible symptoms are pain and abnormal bleeding1. If the intrauterine device is displaced, the effectiveness may be reduced. If it is expelled, you are no longer protected against pregnancy.

The IUD may perforate or penetrate the womb or neck of the womb. This usually happens during insertion. Tell your doctor is you feel pain during insertion or afterwards. The risk of perforation by the IUD is increased in breastfeeding women and in women who had a delivery up to 36 weeks before insertion, and may be increased in women whose womb is tilted backwards and fixed. In case of perforation or penetration of the womb the IUD must be removed as soon as possible.

If the intrauterine device has become lodged outside the cavity of the womb, it is not effective and must be removed as soon as possible.

If you become pregnant with the intrauterine device in place, you should have it removed as soon as possible. If you leave the intrauterine device in place during pregnancy, the risk of having a miscarriage, infection or preterm labor will be increased. If you become pregnant, the risk that you could carry the fetus outside of your womb (have an ectopic pregnancy) is relatively increased. You carry a higher risk if you have already had an ectopic pregnancy, or surgery on the tubes leading from the ovaries to the womb or a pelvic infection.