5 Myths About IUDs You Should Know

If you’ve been considering birth control options, you’ve probably done your fair share of research on intrauterine devices (IUDs). You may have learned that they’re nearly 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, and that they’re one of the easiest forms of contraception to maintain. 

But you may have also read that IUDs can give you an STD, or that they make intercourse uncomfortable. The experts at North Texas OB/GYN are here to debunk these two myths, among others. 

1. IUDs can cause infertility

This is probably the most widespread myth about IUDs, as well as the most fallacious. Point blank: IUDs do not cause infertility. They are contraceptives, so they prevent pregnancy, but you can still have children later when you get your IUD removed. 

An old model of the IUD — as in 1960s old — was linked to infections that could lead to infertility down the line. But that model, called the Dalkon Shield, was removed from the market. Now, more than 40 years of scientific data show that IUDs are safe for women who plan to have children later.  

2. Your partner can feel your IUD during sex

It’s actually really difficult to feel an IUD, even when you’re intentionally looking for it. Your partner most likely won’t feel your IUD string, but in the rare case that it is within range of contact, you can ask your provider to trim the tail shorter. 

3. IUDs cause bacterial infections

Just like IUDs aren’t responsible for infertility, they aren’t responsible for infections, either. Bacteria — and only bacteria — cause bacterial infections. If you happen to get an infection shortly after getting an IUD implanted, it’s only a coincidence.

Infections have this thing called “latency,” which means that symptoms can take several days to show up after you’ve actually contracted the bacteria. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), in particular, have a very long latency period. In short, infections are infections, and your IUD won’t make it any worse or any better. 

4. Your IUD can move around or fall out

While it’s technically possible for your IUD to move around inside your uterus, it’s highly unlikely because of the implantation practices. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that IUDs have only a 3-5% chance of falling out.

If you’re nervous that your IUD has shifted or fallen out, check internally (in your cervix) to feel the string. If you can’t find the tail of your IUD, make an appointment with your OB/GYN to make sure everything is in place and working how it should. 

5. Getting an IUD is extremely painful

This sweeping statement may have some truth behind it purely because every woman has a different pain tolerance. Some women might find the procedure painful, but most experience only slight discomfort. If anything, it will feel very similar to a period cramp — not as painful as childbirth, as many people on the internet may have led you to believe. 

To learn more about IUDs and how you can benefit from an IUD (or to dispel more myths), schedule a consultation with a provider at North Texas OB/GYN today. Call our Plano, Texas, office at 469-240-1866. You can also send a message to our team here on our website.

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