FSRH press release: women should always be offered pain relief in IUD procedures
Date: 13 Jul 2021
Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements
For many women, the pain associated with an intrauterine device (IUD) fitting is similar to period cramps, and they don’t experience major issues. However, some women find the experience painful and anxiety-provoking. Evidence shows there is no clear best pain relief option to alleviate pain associated with the insertion of intrauterine contraception. We recommend healthcare professionals to create a supportive environment and offer appropriate analgesia when women attend their intrauterine device (IUD) fitting procedures.
Dr Janet Barter, Vice President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), said:
“It is always concerning to hear about the pain some women have experienced during their IUD fitting, and this has sparked an important discussion amongst healthcare professionals and IUD users.
“FSRH training in intrauterine contraception includes teaching on analgesics. We review evidence regularly in order to incorporate any proven new technique into our clinical guidance to support best practice, so that women can experience high-quality contraceptive care.”
“Although this is not new, we recommend healthcare professionals to create a supportive environment and offer appropriate analgesia. In my experience, many women decline the offer, but the option should be there. Not all clinics or GP practices are able to offer local anaesthesia, and where this is the case, referral to another service should be in place.
“We also need to ensure that the patient is aware that they can request that the procedure stops at any time. It is important to be mindful that some individuals do report severe pain associated with the procedure.
“For many women, however, the pain associated with an IUD fitting is similar to experiencing period cramps and they don’t experience major issues.”
For further information, please contact: Camila Azevedo, External Affairs Manager, at 07379408587 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
- FSRH Vice President Dr Janet Barter spoke about our recommendations on pain relief for IUD fittings live today on BBC Radio 5 Live's Naga Munchetty's programme, following reports of painful IUD fittings during the previous weeks.
- The FSRH clinical statement on pain associated with insertion of intrauterine contraception FSRH Clinical Statement IUD pain relief
The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) is the largest UK professional membership organisation working at the heart of sexual and reproductive health (SRH), supporting healthcare professionals to deliver high quality care. It works with its 15,000 members, to shape sexual reproductive health for all. It produces evidence-based clinical guidance, standards, training, qualifications and research into SRH. It also delivers conferences and publishes the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health in partnership with the BMJ.