Why Am I Bleeding Heavily With IUD?

Heavy bleeding with IUD birth control can occur, and it is good to know what to do if it does happen. An IUD is inserted directly into the uterus to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the lining. They are close to 99 percent effective if used correctly, and last from around three to five years, depending on the type you get.

IUD’s are an easy method of birth control, because you don’t have to remember to take a pill everyday or use a condom. However, complications can occur with their use. This article will discuss some of the complications and what you can do about them. 

Heavy Bleeding and Other Complications with IUD

All types of birth control may cause side-effects and complications. IUD’s tend to cause more things inside the uterus or can have effects on menstrual cycles. Side-effects tend to be more common within the first six months after insertion, and should clear up after that.

Heavy bleeding with IUD often happens in the first few hours after the doctor places the device, and slows to light spotting in the first few days. It is important to contact your doctor if bleeding continues beyond a couple of days or if you soak more than a few pads an hour.

Other complications of IUD may include:

  • Cramping - Cramping just after insertion (may last up to a few days). You may even experience low back pain.
  • Spotting - You may experience intermittent spotting during the first month after the IUD is inserted. This is bleeding that is not heavy enough to soak a pad or tampon in a few hours.
  • Irregular cycles - Your period cycles may be off for the first few months, especially if you have an IUD with hormones in it. You may also have bleeding in between periods.
  • Worse period cramping - You may have increased or more severe cramping with your periods. You may also experience different types of cramps with your cycles like; low back pain, upper leg pain, deep groin achiness.
  • Heavier periods - Periods may become heavier, especially if you have a copper wire IUD. If you have a hormonal IUD, your periods may become lighter.
  • Increased risk of STD - An IUD can increase the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Having something foreign in the uterus can increase the risk of infection, and people who have this method of birth control may not use a condom as often as they should.
  • Risk of pregnancy - While it is rare, there is a slight risk of pregnancy with an IUD inserted. If you have heavy bleeding with IUD, make sure you check with your doctor to make sure a pregnancy has not occurred.
  • Slipped IUD - An IUD can become dislodged or embedded in the uterine wall. Heavy bleeding can be a sign of a displaced IUD. While an embedded IUD may not be an immediate danger to your life, it will need to be removed.
  • Infection after insertion - Heavy bleeding with fever in the first few days after insertion could mean you contracted an infection from the procedure. You need to make your doctor aware of infection signs right away.

Danger Signs to Watch For

You should contact your doctor if you have heavy bleeding, or any of the signs below:

  • You cannot feel the IUD string in your vagina
  • The IUD is coming out of your vagina
  • You have bleeding that soaks more than one pad an hour
  • You have pregnancy symptoms
  • Cramping in your lower back or pelvis that cannot be controlled
  • You bleed with sexual intercourse
  • Any signs of infection; chills, fever, shortness of breath, weakness, foul smelling discharge

If you have any of the above signs, call your doctor. If bleeding is so severe that you feel signs of an emergency like feeling faint, feeling cold, racing heart, shortness of breath, go to your nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1, if there is no one to drive you.

Other Causes of Heavy Bleeding

If you have heavy bleeding after IUD insertion that won’t go away, and your doctor doesn’t think it is related, some of the other things that can cause heavy bleeding include:

1. Uterine Growths

Fibroid tumors can grow inside your uterus and cause heavier bleeding during periods, and bleeding in between periods. These can happen anytime during a woman’s life, especially during the childbearing period. They are most often benign, and don’t cause any problems other than heavier periods. They do need to be monitored and sometimes need to be surgically removed if they continue to cause problems with bleeding or cramping.

2. Sexually Transmitted Disease

Sexually transmitted diseases that cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can cause heavy bleeding. Other signs include; foul odor to discharge, fever, severe pelvic cramping, lower back pain, and ulcers on the sexual organs.

3. Hormones

If your estrogen and progesterone are out of balance, you may experience heavier bleeding than normal, or irregular bleeding. If you miss ovulating one month, the uterine tissue may grow extra thick and cause a heavy period. If the levels are not corrected, heavy bleeding with periods can become a chronic issue. A hormonal IUD or birth control pills may help this problem.

4. Endometriosis or Adenomyosis

Sometimes the lining of the uterus can become overgrown inside the uterus and outside. It may grow on the muscle tissue, the fallopian tubes, and lower abdominal organs. These conditions can cause excessive cramping during cycles, and heavier bleeding with periods.

5. Implantation or Pregnancy

When an egg implants in the uterine lining, it can shed some of the tissue and cause bleeding. This may cause heavy bleeding with IUD if you become pregnant after one is inserted.

6. Health Conditions

Some health conditions and medications you may be taking may make your periods heavier. It is very important to contact your doctor if heavy bleeding occurs with blood thinning medications. Health conditions and medications that can cause heavy menstrual bleeding include:

  • Thyroid Disease
  • Kidney Issues
  • Liver Issues
  • Autoimmune Disorders