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What To Expect During an IUD Insertion (ParaGard IUD or Mirena IUD)

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Updated April 17, 2014

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Finishing the IUD Insertion Procedure
Once the IUD is in place, the tube, plunger, tenaculum, and speculum are then removed from the vagina. The intrauterine device will stay in place. The IUD will have strings attached to it that the doctor will leave intact. They hang down through the cervix into the vagina. At this point, the doctor will cut the ends of the strings but will allow about one to two inches to hang out of the cervix. The strings are not able to be seen from outside of the vagina but are long enough to be felt by a finger inserted in the vagina (this is how a woman can check if her IUD is still in place).

Your doctor should then instruct you on how to feel for the strings. Additionally, be sure that your doctor informs you of the type of IUD that was inserted (ParaGard or Mirena) and when it needs be replaced. Most doctors should give you a little card that you can put in your wallet with all of this information. If not, it is a smart idea to write down this information and keep it in a reliable place. This information is important should you switch doctors later on, as a health-care professional can not tell, just by looking, which IUD you have and when it was inserted (and, therefore, when it should be removed).

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