Do I need to worry about an IUD getting infected?
Enjoy your IUD, worry free! While infections are always possible, your IUD getting infected is very unlikely – less than 1%. If an infection does occur, it usually happens within the first 3 weeks of having your IUD and once you pass that 3 week mark, the chances of experiencing an infection after that are extremely low.
This is one of the reason we schedule a follow-up exam for any patient who gets an IUD. At your exam, we will talk to you about your experience with your IUD so far, see if you have any questions, and ensure that you are infection free. IUDs don’t directly cause infections, but if you have an existing infection, inserting the IUD may spread it which is why it tends to happen the couple weeks following insertion.
If you do end up getting an infection, they are usually mild, can be easily treated with antibiotics and you do not typically need to have your IUD removed as long as your infection clears up.
The most common symptoms to look out for that could mean your IUD is infected are:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Pain with intercourse
- Abnormal vaginal discharge, possible with a foul odor
If you think your IUD might be infected, it is very important to make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible for treatment to avoid any further complications.
Overall, the risk of infection isn’t greater than the 5 or 10 years of worry-free birth control you will have from your IUD!