Millions of women use IUDs (intrauterine devices) as a form of contraception. The IUD is a small, T-shaped object that is inserted by a healthcare professional into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
IUD placement can be uncomfortable because it involves inserting the IUD through the cervix’s very small opening. That is why a paracervical block can help to make the insertion of the IUD more comfortable.
Let’s discuss how an IUD works, how a paracervical block can help relieve discomfort when an IUD is placed, and where you can go in Kent for world-class personalized healthcare.
What Is an IUD?
IUDs are one of the most effective forms of contraception available – up to 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy. There are a few different types of IUDs available. One type is the hormonal IUD, which slowly releases hormones into the uterus to prevent eggs from being released and to stop sperm from reaching an egg if one is released.
The other type is a copper IUD, which does not contain any hormones. Copper is a metal that causes the lining of the uterus to thicken, thereby stopping sperm from reaching the egg.
How Is an IUD Placed?
IUD placement is a relatively simple procedure that can be done in a healthcare provider’s office.
- First, a speculum is placed in your vagina so your healthcare provider can prepare your vagina and cervix to prevent infection during the procedure.
- Next, your cervix is gently aligned with your uterus to ensure that the IUD is placed correctly. Your healthcare provider may use a long, thin instrument to measure the length of your uterus.
- At this point, your healthcare provider will fold the “arms” of the IUD down and insert it into an applicator tube.
- The tube is then inserted through the cervix, and the IUD is carefully pushed out of the applicator tube into the uterus – this part of the procedure can be especially uncomfortable.
- Lastly, the applicator tube is removed, and the strings on the end of the IUD are trimmed so that they are comfortable and don’t protrude very far into your vagina. The strings are there to help your healthcare provider remove the IUD easily later; if something happens to the strings, removal of the IUD becomes a more invasive procedure.
How a Paracervical Block Can Help Relieve Discomfort During IUD Placement
Despite how effective IUDs are at preventing pregnancy, many women do not like the idea of having an IUD – mainly because the placement procedure can be quite uncomfortable. This is because in the past, healthcare providers would not provide an anesthetic during the procedure.
However, healthcare providers have listened to patients’ previous reports of discomfort and now offer paracervical anesthesia (which is a local anesthesia, not general anesthesia). According to a recent scientific study, women who received a paracervical block before IUD insertion had significantly less discomfort during and after IUD placement.
A paracervical block is a local anesthetic that is injected into the area around the cervix before IUD placement. It helps to numb the area and relieve discomfort during insertion. For many women, this makes the placement procedure much more comfortable.
Benefits of Using an IUD as Contraception
There are a number of benefits to using an IUD as your main method of birth control. First, IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control available, with a failure rate of less than 1% – as you don’t have to remember to take it every day like a pill. You can choose to have it removed at any time by your healthcare professional, such as if you want to become pregnant.
You also have a choice between an IUD containing hormones or one made of copper (without hormones), so you have options if you are sensitive to hormones or to various metals. Plus, IUDs are long-lasting forms of birth control, with each one lasting between 5 and 10 years.
Paracervical Blocks and IUDs in Kent, Washington
Here at FamilyCare of Kent, our highly skilled nurse practitioners want to provide you the most effective birth control with as little discomfort and hassle as possible. That’s why we offer paracervical blocks during IUD insertion. Our nurse practitioners are experienced in providing paracervical blocks, and we are committed to making the IUD insertion experience comfortable for you.
If you are considering getting an IUD or would like to hear your options for birth control, make an appointment at FamilyCare of Kent today. Call us at (253) 859-2273 or request an appointment via our online form now. We look forward to serving you!