Coping with Pain After Coil Fitting

BlogContraceptive Coils

Written by

Catherine Smith

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Experiencing some pain and discomfort after an IUD insertion is a common occurrence that many women go through. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this experience, and there are ways to manage the pain effectively. Understanding the potential side effects associated with contraceptive fitting can also help alleviate any concerns or worries you may have.

Mild to moderate pain which is normal after a coil fitting and should settle down with simple analgesia such as paracetamol and or ibuprofen and using a heat pad or hot water bottle.  But, severe pain not settling with analgesia needs to be reviewed.

Initially, you might notice prolonged bleeding or spotting. A sanitary pad is handy during this time and we would recommend avoiding the use of tampons or mood cups for the first 2 weeks following a intrauterine insertion, thereafter you can use as normal.

Whilst many women never check their threads it is particularly important that they are checked at around 6 weeks after insertion either by yourself or a medical professional. 

Key Takeaways

  • Pain and discomfort post-coil fitting vary from mild to strong.
  • Painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol can reduce the pain.
  • Regular checks for the coil’s threads ensure its correct position.
  • Early on, prolonged bleeding and spotting are normal, but see a doctor for serious symptoms.

What to Expect After Coil Fitting

After you get a IUD inserted, feeling pain similar to period cramps is common. How long and intense this pain feels can differ for each person. While some may carry on with their day normally, others might need a few hours or days to rest.

Watching out for any changes in pain and bleeding is important. If pain or bleeding gets worse suddenly, it could mean there’s an infection or the coil has moved. In such cases, seeing a doctor right away is important.

Usually, you should check the coil’s threads about six weeks post-fitting. This is done by gently feeling for the threads at the cervix with a finger. If you can’t find the threads, switch to another birth control method temporarily and arrange to see a healthcare provider.

The amount of cramping can be affected by different things, like if you’ve had children before.

If you have any concerns that the coil has moved then it is best to either avoid sexual activity or use condoms until the coil’s position is confirmed. This helps prevent any risk of pregnancy in case the coil has shifted or come out.

Certain actions like using tampons and menstrual cups come with their own set of instructions after getting a coil. Make sure to follow these closely.


  • Immediate pain and cramping are normal after coil fitting.
  • Varying levels of discomfort and duration are expected.
  • Monitor any changes in pain and bleeding, seeking immediate medical attention if they increase suddenly.
  • Check the threads of the coil around three weeks after fitting.
  • Avoid sex or use condoms until the coil has been checked to prevent pregnancy risk.
  • Follow specific guidelines for using tampons and moon cups after coil fitting.

Managing Pain and Discomfort After Coil Fitting

After a coil fitting, feeling pain and discomfort is common. But, there’s no need to worry. You can try several methods to lessen your pain and feel better.

First, over-the-counter medicines can help. They reduce inflammation and ease pain. Paracetamol, ibuprofen, or naproxen are good choices. 

Self-care is also important for healing. Rest is crucial. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to help your body recover.

Using a heating pad on the crampy area can be comforting. The warmth eases the discomfort and relaxes your muscles.

Depending on how you feel it may be worth avoiding hard exercise, swimming, and sex for the first 24-48 hours or until you feel better. These precautions help your body heal and reduce discomfort.

It’s normal to have some cramps after a coil is fitted. But if cramps get worse, last more than three months, or you notice heavy bleeding or an unusual discharge, see a GP. 

  • Try over-the-counter pain relief medications like ibuprofen, or paracetamol 
  • Rest and allow yourself time to heal
  • Stay hydrated to support your body’s recovery
  • Apply a heating pad to the area experiencing cramps
  • Avoid strenuous exercise, swimming, and sexual intercourse until the pain subsides
  • Seek medical attention if the cramping becomes severe, lasts longer than three months, or is accompanied by heavy bleeding or abnormal discharge

What to Know About Cramping After Coil Insertion

Cramping after getting a coil inserted is common. It happens as the uterus reacts to a foreign object inside it. This can cause varying levels of discomfort. If you have previously had a baby, this can make cramps less severe.

To ease cramping before the coil is put in, eat well and drink plenty of water. Techniques like deep breathing can reduce stress and pain. Try to book your appointment when your period is nearly over. The cervix is softer then, making the process smoother. You can also take painkillers like ibuprofen an hour before to help with pain.

Cramping can last for days, weeks, or in extreme cases even months after the coil is inserted. It may feel like period cramps and could include back pain. Copper IUDs often cause more cramping at first, but it gets better as your body gets used to it. Hormonal IUDs such as the Mirena usually result in less cramping. While some cramping is normal, if it’s very bad, lasts over three months, or you notice bad smells or heavy bleeding, see a doctor.


What kind of pain can I expect after getting a coil fitted?

After you get a coil fitted, you might feel pain and discomfort. People feel different levels of pain. This can be mild cramps or more intense pain.

How can I manage the pain after coil insertion?

To lessen the pain, you can take painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol. If the pain is very sharp or doesn’t stop, you should see a doctor.

What should I do if I experience severe pain and bleeding after coil insertion?

If your pain and bleeding get worse suddenly, it might mean the coil has moved or there’s an infection. You need to seek medical advice immediately .

How long can I expect prolonged bleeding and spotting after coil insertion?

It’s normal to have some bleeding and spotting at first. A sanitary pad can be useful during this time.

Can I use tampons or menstrual cups with a coil?

You can use tampons and menstrual cups with a coil. But, make sure to check the coil’s threads after each period.

What symptoms after coil insertion require immediate medical attention?

Seek medical help if you have lower belly pain, unusual vaginal discharge, fever, pain when having sex, or think you might have an infection.

How soon after coil insertion does it provide protection against pregnancy?

The coil starts working right away if it’s a copper type. Other types need you to use extra protection for 7 days, unless it’s fitted on your period’s first day.

How often should I check the threads of the coil to ensure its proper placement?

Check the coil’s threads about three weeks after it’s put in. You do this by feeling for the threads at your cervix. If you can’t find them, use extra contraception and get checked by a professional.

What should I do if the cramping becomes severe after coil insertion?

If cramping gets really bad, lasts more than three months, or you have heavy bleeding or strange discharge, see a gynecologist.

How can I reduce cramping before the insertion procedure?

To lessen cramping before getting a coil, eat well, drink plenty of water, relax, and take painkillers if advised by a doctor.

Dr Catherine Smith

Dr Catherine Smith is the founder of The Coil Clinic. A GP and Women's Health Expert with nearly 20 years of experience. She is a BMS Certified Menopause Specialist