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DOs, DON'Ts & Side Effects

An IUD may be just right for you if:
-you have only one sex partner who has sex only with you.
-you or your partner always uses condoms for very low-risk safer sex with each other and with other partners.
-you have had a baby.

You should not use the IUD if you are pregnant or you have:
-unprotected sex with more than one partner, or your partner does.
-unexplained abnormal vaginal bleeding.
-infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or mucopurulent cervicitis.
-a recent history of pelvic infection.
-a history of ectopic pregnancy.
-had a recent, seriously abnormal Pap test.
-cancer of the uterus or cervix.
-a uterus that is too small for an IUD.
-a disease that decreases your ability to fight infection, such as leukemia or diabetes, or a condition that requires treatment with corticosteroid medications.
-an active bacterial infection called actinomycosis.

Most women adjust to their IUDs with few or no problems. But for some women:
-Cramping may be greater (mostly for a brief time after insertion).
-Bleeding may occur between periods.
-Periods may be heavier and last longer (less so with IUDs containing hormones).

Women who wear IUDs also must use condoms to avoid infection if:
-They have more than one partner.
-They take a new partner.
-They change partners.
-Their partner has more than one partner.

Tell your clinician immediately if you are not able to feel the string, your partner feels the IUD during sex, or if you have:
-a missed, late, or light period.
-severe cramping or increasing pain in lower abdomen - especially if it's only on one side.
-unexplained fever and/or chills.
-pain or bleeding during sex.
-increased or bad-smelling vaginal discharge.


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