Side Effects (see also Managing Any Problems)

Some users report the following:

  • Changes in bleeding patterns (especially in the first 3 to 6 months) including:
    • Prolonged and heavy monthly bleeding
    • Irregular bleeding
    • More cramps and pain during monthly bleeding

Bleeding changes are normal and not harmful. If a woman finds them bothersome, counseling and support can help. 

Known Health Benefits

Known Health Risks

Help protect against:

  • Risks of pregnancy

May help protect against:

  • Cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer)
  • Cervical cancer


  • Risk of ectopic pregnancy 


  • May contribute to anemia if a woman already has low iron blood stores before insertion and the IUD causes heavier monthly bleeding 


  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) may occur if the woman has chlamydia or gonorrhea at the time of IUD insertion 



  • Puncturing (perforation) of the wall of the uterus by the IUD or an instrument used for insertion. Usually heals without treatment. 
  • Miscarriage, preterm birth, or infection in the rare case that the woman becomes pregnant with the IUD in place. 

For definitions of bleeding patterns, see “vaginal bleeding” in the Glossary.