Symptoms when an IUD is not seated properly: these to watch out for

21 August 2023By Titus Health Care

IUDs are a popular and effective form of long-term contraception for many women. They are safe and reliable, but unfortunately, sometimes an IUD can still fail to fit properly. What are signs that an IUD is not seated properly? How often does it actually occur? In this blog, we tell you all about it.

How common is it for an IUD not to stay in place properly?

After insertion, there is a small chance that an IUD may not stay in place properly. Fortunately, this is not common and most spirals stay in place just fine. Sagging of an IUD happens in about 2-5% of all spirals placed. When an IUD sags, it most often happens after the first period. To check whether the coil is still in the right place, you will therefore have a follow-up check 6 weeks after insertion. Your healthcare provider will use a dipstick to check internally whether the coil is still in the right place. Your healthcare provider may also check with a vaginal ultrasound.

What are the symptoms when an IUD is not seated properly?

It is quite difficult to recognise for yourself if an IUD is not in the right place. Not every woman experiences symptoms. But the symptoms below may be signs that the coil is not seated properly. If you are in doubt whether your IUD might not be in the right place (anymore), contact your healthcare provider.

Abnormal blood loss

One of the most common symptoms of an IUD not sitting properly is abnormal bleeding. This can range from more intense periods to irregular intermittent bleeding between periods. If you notice any sudden changes in your bleeding pattern after IUD placement, discuss this with your healthcare provider. Note that for the first few months after IUD placement, your body also has to get used to an IUD. You may experience more and irregular bleeding for the first 3-6 months. Read here more on how the menstrual cycle works.

Pain and cramps

Because your body has to get used to an IUD for the first few months, you may experience cramps. But if you experience persistent, unexplained pain or cramps, this could be a sign that the IUD is not seated properly. If the pain becomes unbearable or persists, consult your healthcare provider.

Tactile IUD

Normally, your IUD should not be felt by you or your partner. If you feel the IUD, it may indicate that it has shifted. This may feel like a matchstick sticking out of your cervix. You can feel the strings of the IUD, these usually curl around the cervix a few days after insertion. Contact your healthcare provider if the strings can no longer be felt.

Suspected pregnancy

IUDs are very effective in preventing pregnancy, but there always remains a very small risk. If you experience symptoms that may indicate an IUD that is not fitting properly and you have reason to doubt that you might not be pregnant, take a pregnancy test as soon as possible.

Remember: it usually goes well!

Fortunately, IUDs are usually safe and effective. However, it is important to be alert to possible symptoms of an IUD that may not be seated properly (anymore). If you experience any of the above symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. But remember that most of the time things are just fine and fortunately the chances of an IUD falling out are relatively small. Read here more on the reliability of copper coils.

Besides the T-Safe copper coil, there are other types of copper coils: Multi-Safe and Flexi-T. Curious about the difference between these spirals? Read there here all about.


Symptoms when IUD is not seated properly
(Last Updated On: 21 August 2023)