How do I Check IUD Strings?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 February 2019
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To check your intrauterine device (IUD) strings, you will have to place a finger inside your body and feel for the presence of strings hanging from your cervix, which is the lowest part of the uterus. This is usually fairly easy to do and only requires clean hands and some patience. You may find, however, that checking your IUD strings is easier if you squat or raise one leg to do so. In most cases, you will have to check for these strings at least once per month, usually after a period.

In order to check IUD strings, you will usually have to insert your fingers into your vagina. Since it is possible to introduce harmful bacteria into the vagina, even if your hands do not feel or look dirty, it is best to wash your hands with soap and water before you begin. After you have washed, rinsed, and dried your hands, you will then have to get into a good position. In most cases, you will find it easiest to reach the IUD strings if you squat on the floor, stand with one leg up on the toilet seat or side of the tub, or sit on the toilet.


Your cervix should usually feel rubbery but firm. Placing one finger, usually your index or middle finger, into the vagina, you can use the cervix as the starting point for your check. From the cervix, you can then feel around for the two strings that should be hanging from the cervix.

Usually, IUD strings hang a couple of inches (about 5 cm) out of the cervix. In the event that the strings are not in the proper position or seem much longer or shorter than normal, you may do well to contact a doctor for advice and get a physical examination. Likewise, if you can feel the IUD itself, in addition to or instead of the strings, you may benefit from a doctor’s evaluation.

Your doctor may recommend a schedule by which you should check your IUD. At first, you may need to check it every few days, as IUDs are most likely to slip out of place in the first few months after they are inserted. After that, you may check its position after every period. You may also pay attention when you are changing a sanitary napkin or tampon to ensure that the IUD hasn’t fallen out onto your sanitary product. If it does fall out, you will need to use another method of birth control until it can be reinserted.


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Post 2

If your IUD contraceptive device's strings are poking you, it may simply be that the doctor did not trim them as short as necessary after inserting the IUD. The device should still be effective. You may experience a difference in your comfort level at different points in your menstrual cycle.

If your IUD is still very uncomfortable a week or two after you've had it inserted, you may want to consider making an appointment with your gynecologist to have the strings checked, and possible trimmed to a shorter length.

Post 1

What should I do if the strings of my copper IUD are poking me throughout the day? It's very uncomfortable - is this a normal side effect of IUD insertion?

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