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There are many types of birth control methods for women. But side effects often accompany most of them. Therefore, women are slowly turning towards IUD as the safest and long-lasting method of birth control.
Intrauterine devices, commonly known as IUDs, are T shaped devices that are inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. What makes them popular is the fact that once inserted, they last for about 12 years and are completely reversible. Meaning, you can easily get pregnant after getting it removed.
It is relatively easier to insert an IUD but due to certain factors, they may sometimes move from their designated place or even slip out of the vagina. Because of the fact that this occurrence is possible, doctors may advise you to keep checking your IUD strings. IUDs come with strings attached to them, like tampons, which makes them easier to detect or remove. These very strings can be used to find out if your IUD is in its proper position or not.
How Do You Check For IUD Strings?
IUDs are known to be 99.99% effective in preventing pregnancy without side effects. But they have to remain in a proper position in order to be effective. IUDs are inserted into the uterus with the help of a special inserter and should be able to maintain their position naturally. But sometimes, they may slip or slide. In such cases, your doctor will advise you to check the IUD strings in order to gauge their correct position.
Here is how you can check for your IUD strings
1. Start with clean hands.
2. Sit in a comfortable position or squat on the floor – choose one that gives you easier access to the inside of your vagina.
3. Insert your middle or index finger into your vagina until you touch the cervix. The cervix will feel warm and rubbery much like the tip of your nose, a contrast from the smooth vaginal muscles. The strings most probably should be located there.
4. Try to remember the position and length of the strings or future reference. You may even check for the strings right after their insertion to gauge if the device is in the proper position the next time you check.
How Often Should You Check Your IUD?
After insertion, you may want to check your IUD every few days as it has higher chances of moving out of place. Generally, you can check for your IUD two-three times a week for at least three months after insertion. Make it a point to check for it during your periods as well, as IUDs are known to slip out during those times. After the initial stage, checking them only during your periods will suffice.
Can An IUD Fall Out?
If you think the possibility of an IUD falling out without you noticing them is very less, think again. IUDs are small devices which can easily slip out. You may not even notice them falling out or expelled for that matter. Most of the women who have gotten an IUD inserted have conceived due to their IUDs falling out without them noticing it. The event of the IUD slipping out is known as expulsion.
Although doctors do not understand the exact causes behind the IUD slipping out, it apparently is known to happen during periods. Therefore it is advised you keep checking for your IUD device by detecting the location of the strings mentioned earlier in the article.
If you are not able to feel the strings of your IUD or feel that the strings are shorter or longer than usual, your IUD may just be out of place. Also, if you are not able to locate your strings at all, your IUD may just be dislodged or expelled.
What Are The Signs Of IUD Expulsion?
Though you may not feel the IUD slip out of your vagina, there are several signs your body will give in order to identify if the IUD has expelled or dislodged. Keep an eye open for signs such as:
- Severe cramping
- Abnormal discharge
- Heavy bleeding
The major giveaway, however, will be if these signs accompany a fever, which will tell you that your body is fighting an infection.
What To Do If Your IUD Falls Out?
If you feel that the strings of your IUD are shorter or longer than usual or do not feel the strings altogether, it is better to get it checked with your doctor at once. It is advised not to attempt pushing the device or removing it on your own as it may invite unwanted trouble. You should, however, remember not to indulge in unprotected sex as any change in the position of the IUD may decrease its efficiency.