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What to expect following insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD)

The intrauterine device (commonly known as the coil) is an extremely effective (99%) and long-lasting form of contraception (five-ten years depending on the device used). It is the preferred method of contraception for many thousands of women in the UK.

The website lists the various advantages to IUD and provides advice about the use of IUD. In relation to the risks/complications of the procedure the website states:

  • Your periods can be heavier, longer or more painful in the first three to six months and you might get spotting or bleeding between periods.
  • There’s a small risk of getting an infection after it’s been fitted.
  • There’s a small risk that your body may push out the IUD or it may move (migrate).
  • It can be uncomfortable when the IUD is put in, but you can take painkillers after, if you need to.

IUD’s have been in the press recently following an article by Caitlin Moran in the Times on Saturday 19 June 2021 which prompted a discussion by Naga Munchetty on her BBC Radio 5 Live show on Monday 21 June 2021. Both women shared their experiences of the severe levels of pain suffered during the fitting of the IUD (coil), which they were not prepared for prior to the procedure. This has sparked a call for further consideration to the attitudes towards women’s experience of pain generally.

As set out on the website, “having an IUD fitted can be uncomfortable, and some people might find it painful”. Pain on insertion/removal of the IUD does not indicate that anything has gone wrong during the procedure. Likewise, complications can occur and suffering infection, rejection or migration of the IUD does not necessarily indicate that there was any error when inserting it.

However, there can be issues with the technique used to insert the IUD which can cause complications. Incorrectly inserted IUDs have been known to perforate the uterus and bladder causing injury. An injury such as this will usually be associated with severe pelvic and lower abdominal pain, frequent bladder infections, vomiting and nausea.

If you experience a perforation then it is important to receive appropriate treatment quickly. This will usually require surgical removal of the IUD (coil). Further claims for injury can arise where there is a delay in recognising the symptoms and arranging appropriate referral.

Contact a solicitor

If you have suffered complications following insertion of an IUD and have concerns about the treatment you received and would like some further advice, please contact a member of our specialist medical negligence team who would be happy to discuss your concerns.


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