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9 Weird Signs That Your IUD Is Moving

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IUD problems
Self, Sex

What's going on in there?

One of the great things about being a woman today is the wide variety when it comes to picking birth control methods that work best for us. One of the most popular is the IUD.

An IUD (intrauterine device) is a T-shaped piece of plastic or metal that prevents pregnancy either by hormones (plastic) or by releasing a small amount of copper which prevents sperm from fertilizing eggs (metal). IUDs can usually be implanted at your doctor's office with minimal recovery time and they remain effective for years, provided you have the proper IUD placement and that they are correctly implanted. 

Countless women swear by the IUD as the birth form of birth control, but some women have horror stories to tell about IUD problems, including their devices moving or shifting. While it doesn't always happen, IUDs shifting or moving inside of your body is a risk that occurs when you have one implanted. If your IUD begins to shift, there are risks besides pregnancy that can occur, from life-threatening infections to bowel perforations.


RELATED: 12 Women Describe What It REALLY Feels Like To Get An IUD Inserted Into Them


I spoke with Dr. Hodon Mohamed (that's Dr. Hodon, to her friends), a board-certified OB/GYN and a woman, about IUD movement. "ACOG (the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists) states that out of every 1,000 IUD insertions there is one that can have the complication of uterine perforation. This is when the IUD moves out the uterus (womb) and is traveling in your abdomen," she says. 

The symptoms of a moving or shifting IUD aren't always easy to identify; in fact, some women don't report having any symptoms at all. But if you suspect that your IUD is moving in your body and are having IUD problems, here are a few signs from the experts. If you are experiencing these symptoms and you have an IUD, please consult a medical professional. 

1. You experience pain during sex.

Let's get one thing clear: there is a difference between a CHANGE in how sex feels and PAIN during sex. It's pretty common for people to report that certain sexual positions aren't as comfortable for them as they once were after getting an IUD implanted. 

But pain is a whole other kettle of very sore fish: the pain could indicate that the IUD has shifted to a location where it isn't supposed to be, like chilling in the cervix, a real no-no spot even for very tough broads like you and me. 

WATCH: How IUDs Became One Of Doctors' Top Contraceptive Choices

2. Your periods are abnormal. 

Getting an IUD placed will mean that your periods as you have known them until now are going to change. If you've gotten a hormonal IUD, expect your flow to be lighter; with copper, expect it to be heavier.

Regardless of which type of IUD you have implanted, if you notice spotting, or unusually heavy and painful flows, contact your doctor because this can be a sign your IUD is moving. 

3. Your vaginal discharge is also abnormal.

Look, let's be real: your vagina is always discharging something! Usually, it's healthy stuff — after all, part of the reason you have vaginal discharge at all is to keep your vagina clean. Discharge is a sign that it's working.

However, discharge that smells strange or looks strange could also be a sign of a shifting IUD. Don't ever be afraid to contact your doctor if you suspect there's something up. 

4. Your partner can feel it.

First things first: No, his penis cannot be so huge that it knocks out or shifts your IUD. That's a myth. In fact, your partner shouldn't be able to feel your IUD at all. If they notice it, that means it's coming through the cervix and that means it's not hanging out where it should be. 

To be very clear: feeling the actual device is different from feeling the strings, something some partners can do even when the implant is properly placed. 


RELATED: Everything You NEED To Know About Birth Control (You're Welcome)


5. The strings are a different length.

When your doctor inserts your IUD, she cuts loose a couple of strings that serve a couple of purposes. The first is to make removing the device easier for when the time comes. The second is to help you keep track of the device and make sure it hasn't moved or shifted in your body.

If the strings get suddenly longer, or shorter, or one or both just vanish, that's a key indicator that something is up with your IUD.  

"You can do monthly string checks by gently inserting one or 2 fingers into the vagina. Once you reach your cervix, which is harder then vaginal soft tissue, try to feel for the strings. If you do not feel the strings, it does not automatically mean your IUD fell out as with the time the strings can get coiled up with each other and be sitting inside the cervical canal," advises Dr. Hodon.

6. You have intense cramping.

It's totally normal to experience period-like cramping right after you get your IUD implanted. If you get a hormonal IUD, you can expect your regular period cramps to become much lighter; if you opt for copper, your cramps might become more severe.

However, if your cramps become MORE severe, or if they seem to be lasting for longer periods of time, this could mean your body is rejecting your IUD, just like how the possessed try to reject Satan! Only you should call a doctor, not like, a Catholic priest. (This post sponsored by the new horror film The Nun. JK, it's not.)

7. You get random infections.

Your body has several different ways of letting you know that all is not well. While some people can be entirely asymptomatic when it comes to their IUD moving, others might have another strange symptom — constant recurring infections.

If you keep getting sick and the only change you've made recently is getting an IUD, it might be to blame for your plight. 

8. You can feel it with your fingers.

If your partner can feel it during sex, that's one thing — and very much still a sign that it's moving — but if YOU can feel it when you're doing stuff in the bathroom or just sitting around, your IUD is not where it is supposed to be. It's moved. Call a doctor! 

9. You think you might be pregnant.

While IUDs are designed to prevent pregnancy (and by and large that's like... exactly what they do), and while they do, they can also raise the risk of an ectopic pregnancy: an unviable pregnancy where a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. 

If you feel sharp shooting pains in your back and pelvis, and you're feeling tired, moody, or depressed, you might be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy thanks to your shifting birth control. Seek medical attention, stat. 

"The medical emergency of an abnormal ectopic pregnancy also has to be considered along with a normal pregnancy in the uterus. As the IUD is occupying space in the uterus (womb), then pregnancy can also abnormally occur at another location such as the fallopian tubes. This a medical emergency that can present with either abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, or no vaginal bleeding. That is why it is important following up with your provider who placed the IUD to check for placement at the time that has been decided," warns Dr. Hodon.


RELATED: IUD Horror Show: My Birth Control Controlled WAY More Than My Period


Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. Her work focuses on relationships, pop culture and news. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.

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