Getting an IUD Doesn’t Have to Hurt Like Hell

My quest for a painless insertion

by Jamie Peck

I contemplated getting an intrauterine device (IUD) for over seven years. Every time I asked a friend who had one about her experience, she would say the same two things: It hurts like hell to get one inserted, and I should definitely do it.

Once an IUD is placed properly in the uterus, the tiny, T-shaped device is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy for anywhere from three to 10 years, depending on the type. The Paragard brand is totally hormone free, but even hormonal IUDs, like the Mirena, keep the hormones localized in the uterus so they cause fewer side effects. Since 2012, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) has recommended long-acting reversible contraception, or LARCs, as “first-line recommendations for all women and adolescents.” OB-GYNs even choose this form of birth control for themselves at rates much higher than the general population…

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