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Intrauterine contraception: Management of side effects and complications

Katherine D Pocius, MD, MPH
Deborah A Bartz, MD, MPH
Section Editor
Courtney A Schreiber, MD, MPH
Deputy Editor
Kristen Eckler, MD, FACOG


Intrauterine contraception is highly effective, very safe, and generally well tolerated by most women. As such, it has become an increasingly popular method of contraception. Despite the overall excellent safety profile, side effects and complications can occur at the time of insertion and at different time points following insertion.

This topic will address diagnosis and management of side effects and complications related to intrauterine contraception in a temporal fashion broken down by typical onset of presentation in relation to timing from intrauterine device (IUD) insertion. Issues related to intrauterine contraception types, patient candidates and device selection, as well as the non-complicated insertion and removal procedure, are reviewed separately.

(See "Intrauterine contraception: Devices, candidates, and selection".)

(See "Intrauterine contraceptive device: Insertion and removal".)


Alternate terms for intrauterine contraception include the intrauterine device (IUD), intrauterine contraceptive (IUC), or intrauterine system (IUS, used in reference to the progestin-containing devices). In this topic, we use the term IUD for all types of intrauterine contraception. As of 2017, five types of IUDs are available in the United States (US); one contains copper and four release the progestin levonorgestrel (LNg). A discussion of the various IUD types is presented elsewhere. (See "Intrauterine contraception: Devices, candidates, and selection" and "Intrauterine contraception: Devices, candidates, and selection", section on 'Types of IUDs'.)


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Literature review current through: Jul 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 20, 2017.
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