8 Common Myths About IUDs, Debunked

IUDs (intrauterine devices) like the MirenaKyleenaSkyla, and Paragard are some of the most effective forms of birth control, preventing more than 99.5% of pregnancies. They last between 3-10 years and are fairly easy to insert. As discussed in a previous post, IUDs also put you in control of your fertility – helping you be pregnant when you want to be. Despite all of these great characteristics, there are several myths associated with them. 

Fiction: You can’t get an IUD unless you’ve had a baby 

Fact: Almost Any woman can get an IUD. Talk to your doctor to discuss your options and find one that’s a good fit for you. IUDs are a form of LARCs, long-acting reversible contraception. That is recommended as the first choice of contraception for women by the American College of Obgyn, Family Medicine, and Pediatrics. 

Fiction: IUDs are very painful to insert 

Fact: Everyone’s pain levels vary during an IUD insertion, but most women report some mild cramping. Also, keep in mind that the total time for an IUD insertion is usually under 5 minutes, so for 5 minutes of slight discomfort, you can get 3-10 years of effective birth control. At Macarthur Medical Center we use a sono guided technique that greatly decreases discomfort. 

Fiction: IUDs can cause infertility

Fact: IUDs may stop your periods while in place, but once removed, fertility returns to baseline. This means when your IUD comes out; you are back to whatever is normal for you. Most couples conceive within the first three months of having it removed. 

Fiction: Skipping periods is unhealthy

Fact: The IUD can cause you to stop having periods, but this is not unhealthy for you. The IUDs work by keeping the lining of your uterus thin, so there’s no blood collecting within your uterus that needs to come out. Skipping periods also does not increase the risk of infertility. 

Fiction: IUDs make you gain weight 

Fact: Studies have not shown a direct link between hormonal IUDs and weight gain. According to the Mirena manufacturer, only about 5% of women who use the Mirena report weight gain. Additionally, most women are prone to weight gain in their reproductive years, so weight gain might happen regardless of the type of birth control you are using. 

Fiction: IUDs can cause infections 

Fact: Most women with an IUD are at no increased risk than women without an IUD. If there is an active infection, such as Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, at the time of insertion, there can be a slightly higher risk of PID (pelvic inflammatory disease). This is why these infections are often screened for prior to an IUD insertion. 

Fiction: My partner will feel the IUD strings 

Fact: The IUD strings are inside of your cervix, which is at the back of the vaginal canal, and usually hard to feel during intercourse. If your partner reports feeling the strings, you can visit your healthcare provider and have them trimmed. 

Fiction: IUDs are expensive

Fact: Commercial health insurance plans cover most IUDs at no charge. You can get one for free in most cases. Medicaid and Healthy Texas Women also cover it for free. .Additionally, we have several programs, like the Arch foundation, to help with coverage if you are uninsured. Never let cost be a barrier to get the birth control you want. Schedule a visit today, and we can assist you in finding the right option for you. 


Summer Migoni, PA-C

Summer Abubaker, PA-C - MacArthur Medical Center