Implant and IUD Aftercare

Caring for Yourself

After having an insertion of a birth control implant or IUD, it’s important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your ensure proper healing and optimal effectiveness. The following information will help you care for yourself after your insertion appointment. 

After an IUD Insertion

What can I expect after my IUD insertion?

Many people feel perfectly fine right after they get an IUD, while others need to take it easy for a while.

There can be some cramping and backaches, so plan on chilling at home after your appointment — it is a great excuse to curl up on the couch with your favorite book or movie. Heating pads and over-the-counter pain meds can help ease cramps too.

You may have cramping and spotting after getting an IUD, but this almost always goes away within 3-6 months. Hormonal IUDs eventually make periods lighter and less crampy, and you might stop getting a period at all. On the flip side, copper IUDs may make periods heavier and cramps worse. For some people, this goes away over time. If your IUD is causing you pain, discomfort, or side effects you do not like, call your doctor.

Once you get the IUD, a string about 1 or 2 inches long will come out of your cervix and into the top of your vagina; do not worry, you won’t notice it. The string is there so a nurse practitioner or doctor can remove the IUD later. You can feel the string by putting your fingers in your vagina and reaching up toward your cervix, but do not tug on the string, because you could move your IUD out of place or pull it out.

There is a very small chance that your IUD could slip out of place. It can happen any time, but it is more common during the first 3 months. IUDs are most likely to come out during your period. Check your pads, tampons, or cups to see if it fell out. You can also check your string to make sure it is still there. If your IUD falls out, you are not protected from pregnancy, so make sure to go see your doctor, and use condoms or another kind of birth control in the meantime.

Remember when you got your IUD (or write it down somewhere), so you willl know when it needs to be replaced.

Click here for our helpful aftercare instructions.

How soon after getting an IUD can I have sex?

You can have sex as soon as you want after getting an IUD.

You might need to use a backup method of birth control (like condoms) until the IUD starts to work — whether you’re protected against pregnancy right away depends on what type of IUD you get and when it’s put in.

A copper IUD prevents pregnancy as soon as it is in place.

Hormonal IUDs only prevent pregnancy right away IF they are put in during the first 7 days of your period. If you get a hormonal IUD any other time during your cycle, you are protected after 7 days. In the meantime, use condoms or another kind of birth control to prevent pregnancy.

Source: Planned Parenthood

After an Implant Insertion

What can I expect after my implant insertion?

You can go back to normal daily activities immediately after the Nexplanon has been placed. Your healthcare provider applied small bandage strips and wrapped your arm in gauze. You should wear the gauze for 24 hours and keep it dry. Once you remove the gauze wrap, let the small bandage strips fall off on their own. After the numbness in your arm wears off, you may have some soreness for a day or two where the Nexplanon was placed. There may be swelling, bruising, or discoloration in your arm for up to two weeks. Your periods may change. You may have more bleeding, less bleeding, no bleeding, or bleeding between periods. Your periods may last longer than usual. Try not to bump the place where the Nexplanon was put in for a few days. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help with any soreness you might have in your arm. You can check the implant by pressing your fingertips over the skin where the implant is inserted. You should feel a small rod. If you do not feel your implant, call your healthcare provider.

Click here for our helpful aftercare instructions.

How soon after getting an implant can I have sex?

You can have sex as soon as you want after getting an IUD.  The Nexplanon starts working in 7 days. You will need back-up contraception (i.e. condoms) to prevent pregnancy in the first 7 days after placement. If you have sex without a condom before 7 days, you should take emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy.

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