After insertion of copper intrauterine device (IUD)

In the first few days, you will probably experience some bleeding and abdominal cramps. You can take a painkiller such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. If the pain gets a lot worse and you are worried, you should contact the clinic or your GP.

During the first few weeks after insertion there is a slightly higher risk of infection. The signs to watch for are:

· Persistent pain

· A temperature

· Heavy discharge/bleeding.

If you are worried you should contact the clinic or your GP.

Tampons and menstrual cups

We usually recommend that you don’t use tampons or menstrual cups in the first few weeks after copper IUD insertion because of the risk of infection. After that, it is fine to use tampons and menstrual cups but take care on the days of light bleeding as very occasionally the tampon can become entangled in the threads and dislodge the copper IUD or the copper IUD can be accidently pulled out if the suction on the menstrual cup is not broken first.

Bleeding patterns

 Your periods may become heavier, longer or more painful though may improve after a few months.


The copper IUD starts working immediately for contraception. The copper IUD is very good at stopping you from getting pregnant but if your period is ever late or you have very bad tummy pain, you should do a pregnancy test and seek advice.

Thread checks

If possible you should feel for the copper IUD threads high in the vagina each month. If you cannot feel the threads or you can feel something hard (similar to the end of a matchstick) in the cervix (neck of the womb) when you are checking the threads, you should contact your GP surgery who will be able to help. If there is a problem or they cannot help then they may suggest you are seen in one of our clinics.

Please specifically check for the threads 4-6 weeks after the IUD has been inserted. If you do not want to or cannot do this, please contact your GP surgery.