Many women wonder what can happen after IUD removal. An intrauterine device or IUD, is a T-shaped device that is placed into the uterus to prevent a woman from becoming pregnant. It is an effective form of birth control that can be reversed because it can be removed at any time, especially if a woman decides she wants to get pregnant. Other reasons for removal of the device include discomfort, unwanted side effects, need for replacement, or personal choice.
What to Expect After IUD Removal
Aside from a little vaginal spotting, here are some other things you may expect after IUD removal:
1. Period Changes. If you are using a hormonal IUD, you may have been experiencing an absence of periods or light, less painful menstrual periods. When the IUD is removed, your periods may revert back to normal. If you have been using a non-hormonal (copper) IUD, you may be having heavier, crampier periods, but after the IUD is removed, your periods may become lighter or not change at all.
2. Cramping. Abdominal cramps may occur after an IUD is removed. If these are severe, call your doctor to check if it is something serious.
3. Mood Swings. Some women experience mood swings that range from sadness, anxiety, hopelessness to rage. However, these should pass quickly even without treatment.
4. Feeling Unwell. Some women cannot describe how they feel, but have a general feeling of being unwell. Although these feelings often go away on their own, call your doctor if you experience severe pain or suicidal thoughts.
How to Take Care of Yourself After the IUD Is Removed
Now that you have an idea of what to expect after IUD removal, remember these aftercare instructions:
- Take a pain reliever such as ibuprofen to relieve cramps.
- Take antibiotics as directed if you have an infection.
When to Call a Doctor
Call a doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Profuse vaginal bleeding – like soaking your pads/tampons every hour for at least 2 hours or passing blood clots
- Feeling sick or vomiting
- Worse or new pelvic pain
- Worse or new belly pain
- Dizziness/light-headedness/feeling faint
When Can You Get Pregnant After IUD Removal?
The possibility of being able to conceive a baby is one of the things to consider when thinking about what to expect after IUD removal. You may be able to get pregnant right away, without any risks to you or to your baby. No matter how long you have had an IUD, the possibility of having a baby after its removal is not affected.
If you are planning to get pregnant, it is usually recommended to wait till after your first normal menstrual period. This makes dating your pregnancy much easier, since the count usually starts from the first day of your menstrual period. Studies show that around 60% of women get pregnant within three months after IUD removal.
Women who don't experience complications from IUD removal usually do not have any difficulty conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy. However, in very few women, an IUD can cause a tear in the uterus, or the device may get stuck into the inner wall of the uterus. These women may need surgery to remove the IUD and to repair the uterus. If the uterus is damaged or scarred, further treatment may be needed, including removal of the uterus, which may affect a woman's ability to conceive in the future.
Tips for Getting Pregnant After IUD Removal
What to expect after IUD removal? You already know it. Pregnancy may come soon after IUD removal, so if you are planning to have a baby, here are some tips to increase your chances:
1. Take Good Care of Your Body
To increase your chances of pregnancy, prepare your body by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, taking prenatal vitamins, getting enough exercise, and not smoking. Reduce your caffeine intake and avoid stress to give yourself better chances of getting pregnant.
2. Monitor Your Ovulation
Make sure you are producing eggs (ovulating) properly by using an ovulation predictor kit. You can also monitor your basal body temperature and your cervical mucus, which can help to check if you are fertile. Ask your doctor about these if you are not sure.
3. Keep on Trying
After having your IUD removed, your chance of getting pregnant is very likely, once your body gets back on track. Try to have sex on your fertile days for the best chances of getting pregnant. But you can always take time to enjoy your sex.