IUD Placement & Removal

IUD placement and removal can be performed in simple, in-office procedures that take just a few minutes to perform. Advantia OB-GYN Shady Grove is a trusted provider for IUDs and IUD placement and removal, helping women get the birth control they need for their lifestyles.

What is an IUD?

An IUD is a birth control device that is inserted into the uterus through the vagina and the cervix (the opening of the uterus). IUD placement is performed during a regular office visit and takes just a few minutes to complete. IUD is an abbreviation of Intrauterine Device.

How does an IUD work to help prevent pregnancy?

IUDs use a copper coil which reacts with the uterine lining to create a fluid that is toxic to sperm, and they also help thin the uterine lining to make it much harder for an egg to become embedded. Some IUDs also use hormones to increase their effectiveness in preventing pregnancy by causing a thick plug of mucus to form at the cervix, making it harder for sperm to enter. IUDs that use copper alone can remain in place for a decade while those that use hormones will need to be replaced every three to five years. IUDs that use hormones may also help reduce menstrual cramps in some women as well.

What happens during IUD placement and removal?

IUD placement begins in the same way as a pelvic exam. The patient will lie on the exam table while a speculum is used to widen the vagina gently so the doctor can easily reach the cervix. The IUD is inserted through the very small opening in the cervix, and a long plastic tail is left extending into the vaginal canal. Rarely, an IUD may fall out, so to ensure the IUD is in place and ready to prevent pregnancy, women should feel for the tail before having intercourse to confirm that the IUD is there. The tail is used to remove the IUD using a similar process. Most women report minor discomfort or no discomfort at all during IUD placement, but women who are very sensitive or anxious may receive a local anesthetic to numb the cervix prior to IUD insertion.