Medically reviewed by Joni Gunzburger, MSN, FNP-C on January 10, 2020
You do not need to wait to have sex after your intrauterine device (IUD) is inserted. However, there may be some uncomfortable side effects that occur for a day or two after implantation. Make sure you know whether your IUD is effective before having unprotected sex.
What to Expect After Insertion
You must visit a doctor to have your IUD inserted. In order to place the IUD, the device must be passed through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus. The insertion of the IUD may cause some discomfort or pain.
Some women also experience cramps or bleeding after their IUD is inserted. These symptoms should subside within about 48 to 72 hours.
Protection Against Pregnancy
IUDs are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, the type of IUD you choose and the timing of the IUD insertion affect whether the device begins protecting against pregnancy right away.
Copper IUDs like Paragard are effective immediately after insertion. For hormonal IUDs like Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena, and Liletta, the device is effective immediately if it’s inserted within seven days of the start of your period. If the IUD isn’t inserted during this timeframe, it will be fully effective seven days after insertion.
Use a backup method of birth control if you have sex before your IUD is effective.
There are small strings attached to the bottom of the IUD which sit at the top of the vagina after it’s inserted. You may want to occasionally check for the strings by feeling inside your vagina. If the string is still there, it means that the IUD is still in place and is effectively protecting against pregnancy. If you don’t feel the strings, be sure to use a backup method of birth control until you’re able to see a doctor and have your IUD position checked.
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