How to have the IUS fitted
You will need to book an appointment with your doctor or at a contraceptive clinic. This appointment will usually include:
A few questions about your medical and family history, to work out what method would suit you best.
An internal examination – a doctor or nurse will look inside your vagina to check the position and size of your uterus before the IUS can be fitted. This is called a sound.
They will also check for any signs of infection and sometimes you may also be given antibiotics.
Some services may be able to fit the IUS at the same appointment, or you may need a second appointment.
The appointment usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes, and fitting the IUS should take around 5 minutes:
The vagina is held open using a device called a speculum, like it is during a smear test.
The IUS is inserted through the cervix and into the womb. This is done using the specially designed insertion device.
After insertion, you may feel some pain similar to menstrual cramps. However, this usually disappears within a few days and you can take painkillers if you need to. If you experience severe pain or heavy bleeding after the IUS is inserted, or if pain/bleeding persists for more than a few weeks, please make an appointment to see your doctor or nurse.
You may be offered a check-up 4-6 weeks after placement to make sure everything is going okay.
An IUS is prescribed and fitted by a trained healthcare professional.
The IUS needs to be fitted by a doctor or nurse who has been specially trained.
You can get the IUS for free, even if you're under 16, from:
Sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics
Some young people's services
Your IUS can be removed at any time by a trained doctor or nurse. the IUS needs to be replaced (3 to 8 years) depending on the type of IUS. You will need to book an appointment to remove your IUS. During this appointment they will gently remove the IUS by pulling on the threads. The procedure should be less painful and quicker than when the IUS was inserted.
Your fertility should return to normal as soon as the IUS is removed.
Having an IUS fitted can be uncomfortable, and some people might find it painful. Your doctor or nurse may advise you to take some painkillers before the procedure. There are also other pain management options such as a local anaesthetic. It is best to discuss these with your GP or nurse beforehand.
If you feel any pain or discomfort while you are having it fitted, let the person fitting your IUS know. You can ask to stop at any time.
You may also get period-type cramps afterwards, but painkillers can ease the cramps.
PP-UN-WHC-GB-0149 January 2024