Interventions for the prevention of pain associated with the placement of intrauterine contraceptives: An updated review

Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson, Jeffrey T. Jensen, Ilza Monteiro, Tina Peers, Maria Rodriguez, Attilio Di Spiezio Sardo, Luis Bahamondes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A 2013 review found no evidence to support the routine use of pain relief for intrauterine contraceptive (IUC) placement; however, fear of pain with placement continues to be a barrier to use for some women. This narrative review set out to identify (1) new evidence that may support routine use of pain management strategies for IUC placement; (2) procedure-related approaches that may have a positive impact on the pain experience; and (3) factors that may help healthcare professionals identify women at increased risk of pain with IUC placement. A literature search of the PubMed and Cochrane library databases revealed 550 citations, from which we identified 43 new and pertinent studies for review. Thirteen randomized clinical trials, published since 2012, described reductions in placement-related pain with administration of oral and local analgesia (oral ketorolac, local analgesia with different lidocaine formulations) and cervical priming when compared with placebo or controls. Four studies suggested that ultrasound guidance, balloon dilation, and a modified placement device may help to minimize the pain experienced with IUC placement. Eight publications suggested that previous cesarean delivery, timing of insertion relative to menstruation, dysmenorrhea, expected pain, baseline anxiety, and size of insertion tube may affect the pain experienced with IUC placement. Oral and local analgesia and cervical priming can be effective in minimizing IUC placement-related pain when compared with placebo, but routine use remains subject for debate. Predictive factors may help healthcare professionals to identify women at risk of experiencing pain. Targeted use of effective strategies in these women may be a useful approach while research continues in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1500-1513
Number of pages14
JournalActa obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • contraception
  • intrauterine contraception
  • intrauterine device
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • pain
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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