An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a form of contraception that’s placed inside the uterus. It comes in two forms. The first is the copper IUD, which prevents sperm from entering the fallopian tubes and fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. The second is the hormonal IUD and works somewhat similar to the copper IUD. But instead of releasing copper particles, it releases progestin, partially suppressing ovulation as well as keeping sperm from entering the fallopian tubes. Many women experience some level of discomfort after insertion, leading some to wonder if exercise is appropriate.
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The majority of women can return to their normal activities after IUD insertion. If exercise is part of your daily routine, feel free to participate in your chosen athletic pursuit. Swimming, biking, jogging, dancing, cross-country skiing or taking part in a competitive sport, such as tennis, racquetball, soccer or volleyball are all acceptable activities. Unlike some medical procedures, the insertion of an IUD doesn’t usually restrict your level of activity.
The only factor that may get in the way of exercise is some of the IUD’s initial side effects. Some women suffer cramps and back pain after insertion. For the most part, these symptoms last only a few hours, so you may need to wait until the next day to start exercising as usual. Other women, however, experience bleeding, cramping and pain for a couple of weeks, which can deter you from your normal workout routine. It’s for this reason that most medical professionals will tell you to return to your day-to-day activities as soon as you feel up to it.
With the copper IUD, you may notice a change in menstruation. Women sometimes experience heavier bleeding during their menstrual cycle with this type of device, explains the American Academy of Family Physicians. Depending on the symptoms that accompany this change in your period, you may not feel up to working out at your usual level of intensity. Of course, this varies from woman to woman.
Although exercise shouldn’t affect you IUD, it’s important to periodically check its placement. A plastic string is found at the base of the intrauterine device. If you can’t feel this string, it may be an indication that the IUD is dislodged in some way. Also, feeling the IUD itself could mean the same thing. Contact your doctor immediately.