Topic Tuesday: Can I still use tampons if I have an IUD?

Great question! Yes, it is safe to use tampons when you have an IUD.
IUDs are placed inside your uterus and tampons are inserted in your vagina. Tampons cannot go past your cervix, which is the bottom of your uterus closest to your vagina. Your cervix keep your IUD safely inside your uterus, and keep things like tampons from going anywhere they aren’t supposed to. Since they are in two completely different places, they really don’t get in each others way.
The only part of your IUD that will come into contact with a tampon are the strings that hang down from it. Some women report that they are concerned about pulling out their IUD when pulling out their tampon, but unless the strings on your IUD are unusually long, this should not be an issue. The string from your tampons should be hanging outside your body, and the strings from your IUD should be up around the top of your vagina/cervix which you would really have to be reaching for to accidentally grab. It is possible, but very rare to accidentally pull it out.
It is important to remember that with or without an IUD, you shouldn’t use a tampon when:
  • You’re not on your period and just have discharge
  • You have symptoms of an infection such as itching, irritation such as itching, irritation or colored/foul smelling discharge
  • It has been 6 weeks or less since you gave birth
  • You’re using a vaginal medication
  • If you have a history of toxic shock syndrome
You should also never leave a tampon in for more than 8 hours, regardless of whether you have an IUD or not.
Have questions about whether an IUD is right for you? Make an appointment to talk to one of our care coordinators about all of your birth control options.