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Women Are Calling For Better Pain Relief For IUD Insertions And Removals

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Women Are Calling For Better Pain Relief For IUD Insertions And Removals

A petition calling for better pain relief for IUD insertion and removals has encouraged women to share their own harrowing stories after receiving the contraceptive device.

The petition, launched by Lucy Cohen, details some of the "excruciating", "extremely painful" and "almost unbearable" pain women experience as a result of IUD procedures.

An IUD is a small T-shaped device made from plastic and copper that is inserted into the uterus (Credit: Shutterstock)
An IUD is a small T-shaped device made from plastic and copper that is inserted into the uterus (Credit: Shutterstock)

In the petition's description, Lucy quotes a petition she previously shared. She said: "Almost 1500 people have so far shared their experiences with me. On a pain rating scale of 0-10, 43 per cent of respondents rated their pain as a 7 or higher."

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Lucy also included her aims for the petition to Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan, Matt Hancock and Maree Todd, Scottish Minister for Public Health.

"I would like to see the following: Better expectation management of what the insertion and removal of an IUD entails. Without fully explaining the real potential pain, how can consent truly be given?

Lucy Cohen shared the petition on Twitter (Credit: Lucy Cohen/Twitter)
Lucy Cohen shared the petition on Twitter (Credit: Lucy Cohen/Twitter)

"More pain relief options as standard including gas and air, sedation and muscle relaxants.

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"Not everyone will choose to have additional pain relief, but I strongly feel that for those who want it, it should be administered - and that real consent can only be given once all risks, including that of extreme pain, have been explained."

The petition has received 6,230 signatures so far and has received a huge response on social media.

"Signed! Personal experience of awful pain and going into shock (vomiting / full body pins and needles / low BP) Dr said it was BC I was too anxious! -FFS," one woman tweeted.

A second woman shared: "My first insertion was excruciating, I nearly passed out and I'm a rather tough lady for pain tolerance."

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Comments were also left under the petition, where one woman said: "I was told it would be 'a bit of discomfort', I have a high pain threshold but was close to passing out."

Women shared their own experiences after the petition was shared on Twitter (Credit: Twitter)
Women shared their own experiences after the petition was shared on Twitter (Credit: Twitter)

On Monday, Naga Munchetty opened up about her own experience of having an IUD coil fitted on her BBC Radio 5 Live show which included Lucy Cohen was a guest. Naga described it as "one of the most traumatic physical experiences I've had."

She said: "My screams were so loud that my husband tried to find out what room I was in to make it stop. He said that those in the waiting room hearing my screams looked horrified. The nurse accompanying the doctor had tears in her eyes.

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"I was asked by my doctor half way through if I wanted to stop, but I was so determined that the pain I'd suffered so far wouldn't be repeated, so I said, 'we've got this far, let's finish it.' I fainted twice."

"At the follow-up appointment a week later, my GP, who is really great, said she couldn't believe that I stuck with it. She said, 'most women just give up when it hurts that much'. She also said she had felt terrible after my fitting."

Naga Munchetty spoke about her own painful experience of having an IUD fitted (Credit: PA)
Naga Munchetty spoke about her own painful experience of having an IUD fitted (Credit: PA)

An IUD is a small T-shaped device made from plastic and copper that is inserted into the uterus. It releases copper into the womb which alters the mucus in the cervix to make it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg. It can also stop a fertilised egg from implanting into the lining of the womb.

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The NHS website says "having an IUD fitted can be uncomfortable, and some people might find it painful but you can have a local anaesthetic to help. Discuss this with a GP or nurse beforehand.

"Let the person fitting your IUD know if you feel any pain or discomfort while you are having it fitted. You can ask to stop at any time. You can also take painkillers after having an IUD fitted if you need to."

After 10,000 signatures, petitions get a response from the government and are considered for debate.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Sex and Relationships, Life, Health

Gregory Robinson
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