Can exercise remove an IUD? Have a Gyno weigh in

GInsertion of an intrauterine device—or IUD—is becoming a popular birth control option. More than six million people in the United States use one today. Which makes sense: These small, T-shaped devices placed in the uterus have been shown to be 99 percent effective, and many can be left in for up to eight years. No need to pop a pill every morning, or interrupt foreplay to roll on a condom.

But friends may tell you that your IUD can fall out during vigorous exercise, especially right after it’s inserted. Does getting one mean you have to skip your favorite HIIT classes or interval runs? Can exercise remove an IUD?

411 Exercise is performed immediately after an IUD is inserted

The first thing to note is that the chance of an IUD falling out by accident is extremely low. Rates can vary between 2 and 10 percent, depending on your age, pregnancy history, the heaviness of your periods, how long you’ve had the IUD, and how well it’s inserted. exercise is no One of the contributing factors.

“The rate of IUD shedding is actually very low, but it is higher in the first few months after it’s placed,” says board-certified gynecologist Shagaig Dinoble, MD.

That said, it is completely safe to exercise immediately after IUD insertion. “It’s not going to go away,” Dr. DiNoble said. I know people get very nervous that any little thing is going to set it off. But you have to remember that the IUD is inserted inside the uterus. It’s too hard to move, not in the vaginal canal.” In the same way that exercising early in pregnancy won’t push the embryo out, exercising with an IUD won’t push it either.

However, some women may wait a few days. “It’s not because it might fall off, but just because they’re going to be crampy and bleed a little bit—it’s probably going to be uncomfortable to exercise hard,” says Dr. Dinoble.

A word of caution: If you’re a swimmer, it’s best to wait 24 to 48 hours before swimming in open water to reduce the risk of infection. The same goes for using hot tubs and having sex.

What should I do if I think my IUD has fallen out?

Heavy or unusual bleeding and severe pain can be signs of an IUD dislodging or coming out completely. You can check if it is still in place by inserting your finger inside your vaginal canal and trying to feel the cervix. “It will feel like the tip of your nose and around it,” says Dr. DiNoble. “Once you learn to feel it, then you can check if you’re worried it might fall off.”

Although exercising does not destroy the IUD, the suction of the menstrual cup can sometimes cause problems. “You want to make sure when you get to remove the menstrual cup that you let go of the suction first, and then pull the cup out, otherwise you could potentially pull out the IUD,” says Dr. Dinoball

Another rare occurrence is perforation, when the IUD penetrates the uterus and enters the pelvic cavity. “It’s less than one percent, one in 1,000 people. It’s very unusual, and it won’t happen with any kind of exercise. But things you can look out for are severe pain or very heavy bleeding,” says Dr. Dinoball

If something feels off, call the doctor who originally inserted your IUD. Complications are rare—and won’t be caused by your workout. So don’t let anyone scare you into getting sweaty.

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