An Intrauterine device (IUD) is an effective and convenient form of contraception. The fact that you can choose either hormonal or non-hormonal makes them a popular choice for people who find other forms of contraception incompatible with their lifestyles (busy, traveling), or those who cannot take hormonal forms of contraception for health reasons.
The NHS site says that "it can be uncomfortable when the IUD is put in, but you can take painkillers after if you need to".
While some people only experience mild discomfort during the procedure, there are many people who experience severe pain and for whom no form of painkiller is used. There can also be severe pain after the insertion that can last for several days or even weeks.
Almost 1500 people have so far shared their experiences with me. On a pain rating scale of 0-10, 43% of respondents rated their pain as a 7 or higher with the associated descriptions of:
- Extremely painful
- Almost unbearable
- Several people have reported the pain as worse than childbirth or broken bones.
I would like to see the following:
- Better expectation management of what the insertion and removal of an IUD entails. Without fully explaining the real potential pain, how can consent truly be given?
- More pain relief options as standard including gas and air, sedation and muscle relaxants.
- Not everyone will choose to have additional pain relief, but I strongly feel that for those who want it, it should be administered - and that real consent can only be given once all risks, including that of extreme pain, have been explained.
If you believe that people should be able to undergo IUD placement and removal with the appropriate form of pain relief for them, please sign the petition.