Are You Finished Building Your Family and Need a Longer-Lasting Form of Birth Control? 3 Things to Know About Getting an IUD

An intrauterine device is one of the most effective ways to prevent pregnancy today. While the effectiveness of these devices depends upon the type, you can typically expect for one to prevent you from getting pregnant for anywhere from three to six years as long as it stays inserted. Since this type of birth control requires very little thought outside of the initial planning and insertion, it is also perfect for a busy parent who may not want to take time out of their day to take a pill. As you look for ways to prevent adding another member to your family, you can use this guide to understand what to expect when you get an IUD.

Expect to Start With an Exam

You should always expect your physician to perform a thorough exam. During the exam, they will check the size and position of your uterus. Unless the insertion takes place during your period, you can also expect to take a urine pregnancy test during your appointment just to rule out the possibility of you being pregnant. Once your physician determines that it is safe for you to use this family planning method, they may even offer to do the insertion the same day.

Take It Easy After the Insertion

The process of having an intrauterine device inserted is fairly simple, and some women do not feel much more than some cramping and vaginal discomfort that is similar to what you can experience during a gynecological exam. If you are worried about pain, then you can ask your physician about taking an over-the-counter pain reliever before your appointment. Some women do feel some dizziness and other symptoms after the insertion, so your physician may ask you to hang around the office for a few minutes just to make sure you feel fine. You can generally go back to your normal activities after the insertion, but you may also prefer to take it easy for the rest of the day if you feel any cramps.

Ask About the Need for Backup Birth Control

Some types of IUDs are effective immediately if they are inserted during the first seven days of your menstrual cycle. However, others take a little while to be fully active. Find out if you need to use a backup form of birth control for the first week or two. This way, you can be sure that you give your IUD time to work.

You've enjoyed building your family over the past few years, but you've now completed your goal. Whether you have one kid or five, an IUD provides you with a long-term form of birth control that lets you focus on other important parts of your life.