Vaginal administration of a misoprostol tablet four hours before IUD insertion reduces the difficulty and pain associated with IUD insertion in women who have never been pregnant, according to a new study.
Misoprostol is a medicine that softens and dilates the cervix, causes uterine contractions and, in pregnant women, induces labor. It is used to treat gastric ulcers caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, to treat missed miscarriage, to induce labor and induce abortion.
The study ranged from 2009 to 2011 and involved 179 women who had never been pregnant. Women were randomly given misoprostol or placebo vaginally four hours prior to IUD placement. Researchers looked at difficulty of IUD placement; cervical dilation; pain at insertion; the woman’s subjective experience of placement; and side effects during insertion and at several time points following insertion (immediately, after 24 hours, after 30 days, etc.)
Researchers found that women who were given misoprostol had more dilated cervixes, less difficulty with IUD placement, experienced less “moderate to severe” pain, and were less likely to say their experience was disagreeable than women who were given a placebo. However, women who took the drug were more likely to experience cramping shortly after insertion of the tablet but these symptoms generally subsided after 24 hours of IUD insertion.
Two types of intrauterine devices are currently available in the United States, including the Mirena IUD. Since the Mirena IUD was introduced to the market 13 years ago, it has been associated with more than 47,000 side effects, according to AdverseEvents.com. Some of the more serious complications with the device include expulsion and dislocation, perforation into neighboring organs, hemorrhaging, and infections.
Source: Two Minute Medicine