IUDs sit pretty high up there in your uterus, and they’re not supposed to be felt during sex. But if you can feel it, your nurse or doctor should be able to trim the strings to make sure they’re not too long.
If you do end up feeling the strings during a pound session, it shouldn’t hurt and might just give off a slight tickle.
IUDs are inserted into the vagina.
It’s common to feel pain and cramping during the IUD insertion process, but it’s usually over before you know it. Before putting the IUD in, your health care provider will clean the front and back parts of your vagina with a special solution. Then, they’ll insert a speculum, which is the same metal instrument used for pelvic exams, to get to your cervix. They’ll measure your cervix with a sterile sounding device to make sure the IUD won’t be inserted too deeply or at the wrong angle, which could damage your uterus and reduce effectiveness (or even perforate it).
Then they’ll bend the arms of the IUD, which are in the shape of a “T.” They slide a tube with the IUD inside it through your cervical canal and cervix and into your uterus. Once the IUD is in the uterus, they’ll close the arms and trim any remaining strings. The strings can be felt if you put your finger in your vagina and feel for your cervix, but don’t grab or tug on the strings. Doing so can cause the IUD to move out of place, and it’s important to check for them once a month or so by placing two fingers through your vagina until you feel your cervix.
IUDs are one of the best birth control options for women because they’re 99 percent effective and can last for years. They’re also cheaper than other methods and don’t interrupt sex.
They’re made of plastic.
IUDs are made of a soft plastic that’s designed to stay inside your body for years. They’re more expensive than other birth control methods, but they can save you money in the long run — especially if you have insurance or Medicaid.
The earliest IUDs were coiled rings of silver wire, but Ernst Grafenburg improved the design in 1929. Since then, most have been made of plastic with variations in shape including rings, coils, T shapes, and trapezoids. A gynecologist or nurse will insert your IUD. It’s usually painless, but some people might feel discomfort during the insertion. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever before the appointment might help with this.
Hormonal IUDs work by increasing the cervical mucus and inhibiting sperm movement to make it harder for sperm to reach and fertilize an egg. Copper IUDs have added contraceptive effects as they contain copper ions that create a spermicidal effect, which kills some sperm.
It’s very unlikely to get pregnant with an IUD in place, but if you do, it raises your risk of having an ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized egg settles outside of your uterus. You also have a higher chance of getting an STD, so you’ll need to use barrier methods or condoms during sex.
If you have an IUD, it’s important to check its location every month. You can do this by putting your finger high up in your vagina, near your cervix (the hard part at the top of your womb). If the string feels shorter or longer than usual, call your GP to see if it has moved.
They’re not long.
It’s completely normal for sexual partners to feel the strings of an IUD during penetrative sex. Those two strings extend through your cervix, and they’re designed to make it easier for your doctor to remove the IUD in the future. That said, bumping into them should not be uncomfortable or painful for either you or your partner.
The good news is that the strings of an IUD usually soften over time, so they may not stick out as much. If they do, your nurse or doctor should be able to trim them down so that they’re less likely to be felt during intercourse.
In the meantime, it’s important to practice regular self-checks of your IUD. To do this, wash your hands, and then insert your index finger into the vagina until you reach your cervix. Your cervix should be firm and rubbery, like the tip of your nose. From there, you can feel for the strings of your IUD, which should feel like short pieces of fishing line.
IUDs are a great option for women who want long-term birth control. They’re effective, easy to use, and provide years of protection against pregnancy. To learn more, visit Planned Parenthood online or call your nearest center. If you need help covering the cost of your medications, our free discount card could save you up to 80%. Apply for Optum Perks now.
They’re not painful.
An intrauterine device is a very effective form of birth control that keeps fewer than 1 out of every 100 people from getting an unplanned pregnancy. It works by a nurse or doctor inserting the tiny, plastic, T-shaped device into your uterus through your cervix. After insertion, the IUD leaves a string that sticks out of your cervix and into the top of your vagina. The strings aren’t meant to be touched, but your partner might feel them with their penis during sex (especially if you have really deep or rough sex). They can be trimmed by your health care provider, and they should not cause pain for you or your sexual partners.
But if you are concerned about feeling pain during an IUD insertion, your OB/GYN may recommend taking a medication before the procedure to relieve the discomfort. You should also hydrate and eat before your appointment, because those things can help ease your pain.
IUDs are a good option for most women, but they aren’t right for everyone. Talk to your OB/GYN about all the options for birth control and what is best for you and your lifestyle. They can also help you plan how to keep your IUD in place. If you experience symptoms that may indicate your IUD has become dislodged, such as spotting between periods, schedule an appointment as soon as possible to check on it and treat any underlying health issues.