Objective To explore (a) if analgesia taken before an intrauterine device (IUD) fitting actually lessens the discomfort of the fitting and (b) whether there is a relationship between anxiety and choosing to take pain relief before an IUD fitting.
Population Women having an IUD fitted in participating clinics in Leeds between 1 April and 31 July 2001.
Method Advice was given to women who were having an IUD fitted to take analgesia before they came to the clinic if they wished. The women completed a questionnaire at the time of fitting to record anticipated discomfort, actual discomfort and the use of analgesia before the fitting. A second questionnaire was sent to women 6 months later.
Response A total of 109 women completed the first questionnaire and 54 completed the second questionnaire.
Findings and discussion Women who were more anxious and who anticipated that the procedure would be painful, even if it was not as bad as expected at the time of the fitting, will recall that it was a painful experience. Those who chose to take painkillers before the procedure may identify this group of women. Higher anxiety levels may contribute to the perceived discomfort.
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