Why You Shouldn’t Bathe After Getting an IUD

Introduction

Getting an IUD is a significant decision when it comes to birth control. It’s essential to understand the necessary precautions and aftercare. In this article, we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t take a bath immediately after IUD insertion and provide you with some important information about IUDs.

Source: 5 WS

Taking Care of Your IUD

Copper-T IUD (Paragard)

  • The Copper-T IUD begins working right away to prevent pregnancy.
  • It is approved for use as a contraceptive for ten years.
  • The removal date should be determined and marked (ten years from the insertion date).

Progestin IUD (Liletta, Skyla, Mirena)

  • The Progestin IUD takes about seven days to start preventing pregnancy.
  • It’s crucial to use condoms during the first week after IUD insertion to avoid pregnancy. If you have unprotected sex during this period, emergency contraception should be taken immediately.
  • Mirena and Liletta are approved as effective birth control for six years, while Skyla is approved for three years.
  • The removal date should be determined and marked (six years for Liletta/Mirena or three years for Skyla from the insertion date).

Immediate Post-Insertion Precautions

Once you’ve had your IUD inserted, it is important to take the following precautions:

  • No Tampons: Wait for at least 24 hours after IUD insertion before using tampons.
  • No Baths: Avoid taking baths for 24 hours after IUD insertion.
  • No Vaginal Sex: It is also advised to refrain from having vaginal sex for 24 hours after the procedure.
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Potential Complications

The chance of an IUD being accidentally placed outside the uterus (perforation) is very low, occurring in approximately one out of every one thousand insertions. To ensure this doesn’t happen, ultrasound images are obtained before and after the IUD insertion. Additionally, a one-month follow-up appointment is scheduled.

Side Effects and Long-Term Implications

  • Cramps and heavier bleeding during periods, as well as spotting between periods, are common side effects of hormonal IUDs. These symptoms may last for three to six months. However, after six months, they should improve. Some women may stop having periods altogether after one or two years with hormonal IUDs.
  • If you have a non-hormonal Paragard (copper) IUD, you may experience more cramping and heavier bleeding during your periods.
  • Ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin, can help alleviate painful cramps and reduce bleeding. It can be purchased over the counter at any drug store without a prescription.
  • The expulsion rate of an IUD is between 2-10% in the first year. A recent study showed a 20% expulsion rate in women who use menstrual cups. Checking the strings after your periods, especially if you have a non-hormonal Paragard IUD, is crucial. If you can feel the strings, it means the IUD is in the right place. If your IUD comes out, you can become pregnant immediately. If you’re unsure how to check the strings, consult your healthcare provider. In the meantime, use condoms. If your bleeding pattern changes after six months of having the IUD, it may indicate that it is not in the correct position, and you should seek medical attention.
  • It’s important to note that IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs). Using protection such as male or female condoms is highly recommended, especially for individuals at risk of STIs. If you suspect you have been exposed to an STI, discuss testing with your healthcare provider. Most infections can be treated without removing the IUD.
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Warning Signs and When to Call Your Healthcare Provider

After the insertion of an IUD, if you experience any of the following warning signs, contact your healthcare provider:

  • Fever (temperature above 100.4F)
  • Chills
  • Strong or sharp pain that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medication

Call your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following (although these instances are rare):

  • Symptoms that make you feel like you might be pregnant (such as breast tenderness, nausea, vomiting)
  • A positive home pregnancy test, which requires immediate attention

If you encounter any of the warning signs mentioned above, please contact your healthcare provider at 925-935-6952.

Remember, taking proper care of your IUD and being vigilant about any potential issues will help ensure its effectiveness as a long-term contraceptive option.

For more information about IUDs and other related topics, visit 5 WS – your go-to source for reliable health information.

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