Shopping cart

Your shopping cart is empty!

IUD insertion, does it hurt? Read the experiences of other people here

6 min read
Cycle Care

You can read all kinds of horror stories on the internet, so we wanted to find out if an IUD insertion really hurts that much. We collected the stories from other people for you to read.

Emma (28) had a Kyleena IUD inserted:

“‘You forgot to pick up your birth control at the pharmacist, but you did have sex this week?’ My mom repeated my words with a slight panicked undertone. I had just told her about my new fling, who would become the future father of my children. It was especially that last addition that caused her to worry. I was eighteen and in no way capable of taking care of myself, let alone a baby (read: my diet existed exclusively out of grilled cheese sandwiches, I partied until the early morning hours, and my flings changed every two months). ‘Sweetheart, wouldn’t it be smart to start considering an IUD, as you are slightly chaotic?’ It was a friendly, yet slightly forceful request from my mom. I decided to follow her motherly advice after some consideration and made an appointment at a gynecologist. My friends had told me that the IUD insertion was pure torture. One girl fainted during the insertion, the other felt like her uterus had been perforated, and someone else couldn’t walk for three days because of the pain. Not exactly stimulating when the visit to the gynecologist is already scheduled”

The golden tip: coughing, coughing, and more coughing

“I can be slightly hysterical sometimes, so after hearing all of those horror stories, I was a little high of Aleve Feminax as I sat down in the gynecologist chair. The gynecologist put my mind at ease and started by making an ultrasound. I am in no way saying that the position you are in when an IUD gets inserted is ideal. You are naked as the day you were born from the waist down and your legs, supported by upholders, are in the neck of the gynecologist. But the treatment and insertion really wasn’t so bad. After the ultrasound, the gynecologist measured my uterus. She explained to me that mine was a little tilted to the back, but that it was nothing to worry about. She inserted the IUD when I was coughing.”

“If you’ve never had an IUD inserted, you’re probably asking yourself why I’d need to cough. Well… If you cough during the placement of the IUD, you don’t feel the stabbing sensation in your uterus. So do you plan to get an IUD? Take some Aleve Feminax and cough away!”

There are two kinds of hormonal IUD: the Mirena and the Kyleena IUD. We wrote an article about the difference between these two kinds of hormonal IUDs.

Martine (45) had a Mirena IUD inserted:

“My first IUD was a smashing success, seen in light of forgetting the pill countless times, culminating in an abortion and a handful of morning-after pills. I'm one of those women where you just have to look at me in order for me to get pregnant, and that doesn't work in combination with a chaotic mind. I was in need of a more solid solution, so I went to my GP.”

“I was just lying somewhat nervously, completely exposed from below, with my legs wide open on the treatment table (when my GP informed me that his intern would take a look as well. I was a bit flabbergasted. I was lying there with my knickers full of teeth when the intern took over the speculum to take a good look at my insides. And then he took out the IUD of its packaging to slide it in. It didn't work the first time and it hurt. The poor guy was way too nervous.” 

‘My uterus is not your training ground’

“Poor me. I thought that this was the way things normally went, letting interns take over the IUD insertion. Now I know that I should have told my GP that my uterus was not his training ground. That he should have let his intern practice on someone with more IUD experience than me. But oh well, I want to be liked, so I didn’t do that.”

“I did decide to never ever again take off my panties at the GPs. Thankfully I found that there were other options as well, like the women’s health center Zuidoost in Amsterdam. God, this place was like a breath of fresh air. A team of female gynecologists, doctors, nurses and doctor assistants who do nothing all day but deal with matters concerning the vulva, ovaries, and the uterus. So they aren’t surprised by anything (not that I think that I look odd down there… At least I don’t think so).”

‘The women's health clinic: I thought it was a breath of fresh air’

“Before my IUD got replaced, I had an extensive talk with the nurse. I also got a vaginal ultrasound where they checked if my uterus and ovaries were okay. That’s nice to know, right? The gynecologist noticed during this ultrasound that my uterus was slightly tilted and took that into account when inserting the IUD. I felt seen, taken seriously and respected. It was a really nice experience!”

Jo-Ann (27) had a Mirena IUD inserted:

“You know those days when you can’t remember how many days ago it was that you last took the pill? Those kinds of panic situations were the rule in my college days, not the exception. As a result I had to buy so many pregnancy tests, I can’t even remember how many. It just couldn’t go on like this and so I decided to switch the pill for an IUD.”

“Weirdly enough, my GP did not want to talk about switching my birth control. All he wanted to talk about was my negligence in taking the pill. I remember thinking that if I wanted to be scolded I would have gone to my mother. All I knew was that I could write that referral to the gynecologist on my non-pregnant belly. My best friend Google helped me and I found the Women’s Health Care Centre in Amsterdam. A women's clinic which I could go to right away and all my questions were answered there. I chose the Mirena IUD. I was on my period during my first meeting, so they could insert the IUD immediately. But I didn’t do that, because I wanted to mentally prepare myself for what I was about to do after hearing all of the horror stories my friends had told me. One girl fainted, the other had to stay in bed for three days with horrible pains. All those miserable and horrible stories also had a positive side: the weight loss after the IUD insertion. Which woman doesn’t want that? The desire for IUDs increased a little.” 

“A few weeks later it was time. I was so scared. What if I fainted? What will happen to my weekend plans? Am I just going to be in pain the entire time? I walked into the treatment room, saw that horrible chair and speculum. I undressed with clammy hands and laid down in the chair. The gynecologist showed me the IUD and told me the pain would be short and stabby.”

“I instantly felt more at ease when I saw how small the IUD was. The insertion really was just a little painful. It wasn’t pleasant, but it also wasn’t the torture that my friends had described. I was outside within 15 minutes and 2 hours later I went for drinks. I had taken two Aleve Feminax, but that was it. I really regretted that I had been so scared by all the stories. My tip? Don’t listen to what other people say. Every body is different and everyone feels pain in a different way. Maybe it’s really not that bad, like it was for me and then you worried about nothing. And the weightloss after the insertion? I still wonder when that will happen…”

Annemieke (45) got a copper IUD inserted:

“I was 19 when I decided to get a copper IUD with my GP. I took the pill right before that, but I suffered a lot from the mental side effects of the hormones, so I wanted something else. In good spirits, I went to the doctor.”

We wrote an article about the long-term effects of the pill.

“Beforehand I had taken a naproxen, that was the advice. Still somewhat nervous, I stepped into the treatment room and was allowed to lie down on the table. Legs in those horrible bars and there you are.... I hardly got any instructions and the placement was really very painful. So painful in fact that both the doctor and I were shocked. I couldn't sit up from misery and had to lie on the couch in the waiting room for an hour because I couldn't get up.”

'The GP suspected that my uterus was perforated'

“The GP was worried and thought he had accidentally perforated my uterus. My uterus was small and tilted so the placement didn't go so easily. At least that’s what my GP said. In short, my mother had to come and get me to go to the hospital for an ultrasound. This to see if the IUD was in place or if something had really gone wrong. Fortunately, my uterus wasn’t perforated. But the IUD was taken out after three months (taking it out was a breeze!). I kept bleeding and had a lot of abdominal pain. It was absolutely unbearable. My tip? Get your IUD placed by someone who does this just about every day and who guides you well. It's really worth it.”

Would you now like to prepare yourself properly for IUD placement? You can do so by reading our extensive article that explains all the steps involved in placing and removing an IUD including tips on how to make it as smooth as possible!

Want to know more about your body and health? Stay informed and join our community!


related products


Menstrual cup

related products

we're in this together

Cycle is a community where all aspects of the female body are discussed freely. From menstruation to menopause: we'll help you understand your body, mind, cycle and sexuality better, with the help of our Cycle Experts.