Understanding the Health Consequences of IUDs on Your Body

 Doctors have been recommending intrauterine devices (IUDs) to reduce unplanned pregnancies for years. They are associated with lower pregnancy rates than other methods because they last several years and can be removed anytime. However, some women may feel that the benefits don't always outweigh the potential side effects of IUDs.

What Is an IUD?

You may have heard of IUDs or intrauterine devices. These are small devices inserted into the uterus by a doctor and can be hormone-releasing or hormone-free. They work by preventing fertilization and/or implantation of an egg in your uterus, which means they're long-acting but reversible if you want to get pregnant again someday.

A healthcare provider inserts IUDs into the uterus during a simple in-office procedure. Once in place, the IUD provides ongoing contraception without requiring further action from the user. They can be removed anytime, and fertility typically returns quickly after removal. Many women opt for IUDs due to their simplicity in implementation and use. Data shows that 23% of females using contraception choose IUDs.

The Benefits of Using an IUD

There are several benefits to using an IUD. It is a convenient and effective form of birth control, with the highest effectiveness rate compared to other forms of contraception. It lasts several years, so you don't have to worry about remembering to take it every day or every time you have sex. In addition, IUDs protect against pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

In addition, some women find that their heavy menstrual bleeding improves after having an IUD inserted. This can lead them to stop taking birth control pills or other medications they previously took because they were experiencing side effects such as severe cramping during their periods.

Health Risks of Using IUDs

If you're considering using an IUD, it's essential to understand the health consequences. While they are a safe and effective form of birth control, some possible side effects may occur in some women.

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a rare disease, affecting about 1 in 70 women in the U.S., and the risk increases with age. Also, women who have never been pregnant are at lower risk than those who have given birth.

Several factors affect your chances of developing ovarian cancer. For instance, family history is one of the risk factors. One of these risk factors is using IUDs, especially copper ones. The body often regards copper IUDs as a foreign object, which starts an inflammatory response, stimulating fibrous growth formation and leading to cancer. A weak correlation has been found between fibroids' incidence and IUD usage.

That’s why women using these IUDs who went on to develop cancer or any other health problem can be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. If you have used this device and developed ovarian cancer, you should find out more about how to file a Paragard IUD lawsuit.

According to TorHoerman Law, more than 1,700 pending lawsuits exist. These lawsuits are now consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL). If your case is a part of this MDL, it is wiser to hire a lawyer to get the best compensation for your health issues.

Menstrual Changes

Menstrual changes are one of the most common side effects of IUDs. These changes can include:

  • Irregular periods or no periods may last several months or even years after getting an IUD.

  • Heavy bleeding during your period can be horrible if you have a history of heavy menstrual bleeding. You can also face cramps due to using IUDs for several reasons, such as uterine irritation, prostaglandin release, uterine contractions, etc. Data shows that copper IUDs may cause excessive bleeding and cramps in the first 3-6 months.

  • Spotting between periods, especially when using a hormonal IUD like Mirena.

Cramping and Discomfort

Cramping and discomfort are common side effects of using an IUD, making you feel like you're being punished for being sexually active. But don't worry. Your period-like cramps will disappear after a few weeks. If they don't, it might be time to consider another birth control option.

To manage your discomfort during the first few weeks after insertion:

  • Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) before bedtime to help ease pain during your period-like cramps.

  • Apply heat packs on your abdomen for 20 minutes throughout the day.


Infection is a health consequence of using IUDs. Infection can cause pain, discomfort, and more severe conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID occurs when bacteria from the vagina enter the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. If not treated promptly, PID can lead to infertility or ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening condition where a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus.

The most common ways IUD users contract an infection include:

  • Using contaminated hands during the insertion or removal of the device

  • Having sex without using a condom

Again, copper IUD users are at a higher risk here. According to an NCBI article, Bacterial Vaginosis frequency is highest among Copper-IUD users at 153.6 episodes per 100 person-years. Hence, avoiding copper IUDs and using normal ones is best.


You can expel an IUD if you have it inserted by a doctor. Call your doctor immediately if you are experiencing pain or bleeding and think your IUD has been expelled.

Expulsion is a health consequence of using IUDs because it can cause PID and infection in the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. PID is caused when bacteria enter the reproductive organs through unprotected sex or another way, like having an STD.

Managing and Minimizing Side Effects

If you experience side effects from your IUD, you must talk to your doctor about them. They may be able to help you manage or minimize the consequences of the device on your body by removing it and replacing it with another form of birth control.

Women who cannot use hormonal birth control can also benefit from an IUD because they do not have any hormones that could cause side effects such as weight gain or mood swings.


IUDs are safe and effective contraceptives. They are a convenient way to prevent pregnancy, but they have some health consequences you should be aware of before getting one. You should also be prepared for any complications from using an IUD. It is best to consult with a doctor to use an IUD. Also, since most concerning problems are associated with copper IUDs, it is advised to use a standard non-copper IUD if you do want to use one.

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