8 Scary IUD Side Effects You Should Know About

Birth control options are terrific, in the sense that they keep us from having babies before we’re ready. Something that is not so great about them? The inevitable side effects you have to deal with. No birth control method is a cake walk, and that includes the IUD. Intrauterine Devices (AKA IUD) are known as the most effective form of long-term birth control available, and there are plenty of other positive things about them – no more periods, no more struggling to remember to take your Pill at the same time, and they’ll probably save you money in the long run. But at the same time, it’s important to realize that the IUD can have some pretty scary side effects. Before you decide to try one, you should make sure you’re educated on what could happen so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

It’s worth pointing out that most of these side effects are super rare, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them completely. An IUD is a little more serious than the Pill. You’re putting a foreign object into your body and letting it camp out there for a few years. It can be a painful procedure that is more intense than popping a pill, so you have to be totally sure it’s something you want. And, to be fair, we should also point out that IUDs have received a ton of hate – but most of that came before they were improved upon and cleared as safe for women who have yet to give birth vaginally. You might hear people advise against them, but that’s either because of outdated information or because of negative experiences. IUDs aren’t a one-size-fits-all type of deal, though, so it’s important to for you to make this decision on your own. Here are some scary IUD side effects to consider before you get one:

It Can Expel From Your Body

This is rare, but it can happen. IUDs are most likely to get expelled from your body the first few months after insertion, which is why it's important you check the strings to see if they're there after each of your periods. It's just something to look out for during that time period. It may look like a big clot following a very intense cramp and yes, it can be painful. Your doctor could possibly reinsert it if you want, but in my opinion, if your body is trying to get rid of the IUD in this extreme way, this might not be the birth control method for you.

Source: iStock

It Could Perforate Your Uterus

Again, this is super rare, but I still want to mention it, because it's pretty serious. Your IUD could perforate your uterus, as in go rogue and start tearing at the walls of your uterus because it's not doing so well in your body. Different than expulsion, a perforated IUD could remain in your body and may require medical attention to remove it and cause extra damage to your uterus and surrounding organs depending on how severe it gets.

Source: iStock

Increased Menstrual Bleeding

This may only be the case with a copper IUD as the hormonal option has been known to stop periods altogether. It's nothing too serious, just get more tampons or empty your menstrual cup more often than you normally would... and you also might have to suffer through worse cramps. What IS a big deal, though, is if you are anemic or are predisposed in any other area of your health wherein you might worsen or would not fare well if you were to lose more blood than usual. Hemopheliacs, for example, might want to be aware of this risk before they get a copper IUD. Not all side effects treat everybody the same.

Source: iStock

Decreased Sex Drive

LOL YUP. Then why be on birth control if your sex drive is just going to up and disappear? My thoughts exactly. People get IUDs removed, very specifically, because they mess with your sex drive. The thing you got to help with your relationship is about to throw a big wrench into it. Okay, that's a little dramatic, but other than hormones, the cramping and pelvic soreness associated with IUDs might also deter you away from wanting bae to get close to your vagina anytime soon. Ooph.

Source: iStock

They Can Lead To Depression

Hormones be damned, depression sucks. Any time you replace your naturally occurring hormones with synthetic ones, triggering depression is a risk that you run. However, you quitting the pill and abandoning the Nuva Ring is a lot easier than taking your IUD out. You need a doctor to go in and do that for you. This means going through your side effects for far longer than you want. Depression can affect your sex drive, and then the whole thing becomes a cycle of your best birth control actually being not wanting to have sex or be intimate with anyone to begin with.

Source: iStock

It Can Lead To Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Full disclosure: IUDs don't directly give you Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). What can give you PID is if you have an untreated, still active STI at the time of your IUD insertion. The infection could get picked up by the IUD, and once in place in your uterus, can give you PID. Ouch. This is why you need to make sure you're all clean and healthy before you go to your doctor for an IUD - to cut down on your risk for larger medical side effects like PID. You should not be pregnant or currently dealing with an STI at the time of insertion for this exact reason.

Source: iStock

Ovarian Cysts

Hormonal IUDs like Mirena could cause typical hormonal birth control side effects, like ovarian cysts. They're basically benign growths that happen on your uterus, but even though they're technically not cancerous, they can hurt like hell. Some people live their whole lives dealing with cysts and their comings and goings like it's just part of their daily routine. For others, this is new. Don't be surprised or go into a panic if your doctor finds cysts in your ultrasound during your next check up if you have your IUD. This is probably a likely side effect of your chosen birth control method. Having your new hormonal nucleus so close to your ovaries, it's no wonder why cysts might be more likely to happen on an IUD.

Source: iStock

Miscarriage (If You're Pregnant)

This so rarely, rarely happens, because the IUD is the most effective form of birth control other than completely abstaining from sex, however, it's still worth noting. If you do become pregnant and have an IUD, it's most likely because your IUD got dislodged or pushed out of the way. If it's still in there, your doctor will probably try to remove it. Ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, and preterm birth can happen if you get pregnant with an IUD and don't address this issue in time. Even if you don't want to be pregnant (obvi, otherwise why would you be on birth control) you should know these things do come with their fair share of medical side effects and dangers, so be alert and make sure your IUD is always in properly.

Source: iStock

Would you still get an IUD? Did these side effects change your mind? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.


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