Age 25 – Entire Cycle, IUD

These cervical photos are from a 25 years old woman who has never given birth.  She has a copper Paraguard IUD which was placed inside her uterus about a year ago.  This is not a hormonal form of birth control, so she ovulates, which you can tell from the changes in her discharge.  You can see the strings of the IUD protruding through the os in the photos.  The IUD sometimes causes her occasional cramps or heavier bleeding.

Picture 8

Image source

Her cycle has been somewhat erratic since she stopped birth control pills about a year ago.  Before she went on birth control pills (sometime in her late teens) she was fairly regular with cycles about every 30 days or so.    She has always had normal pap smears.

The notes about each day are below each picture.



1.6

Day One

Minor cramps

Moderate flow



2.4

Day Two

More bleeding

No cramps

Used a tampon today




3.7

Day Three

Used a tampon today



4.4

Day Four

Feeling good

Moderate Bleeding

Used a pad today



5.3

Day Five

Light Flow

Used a Diva cup

More tired today



6.5

Day Six

Spotting

Feeling well

Partner/photographer says cervix is deeper in the vagina today



7.2

Day Seven

Minimal spotting

Tired



8.8

Day Eight

White/yellow scant discharge with no odor



9.7

Day Nine

Feeling well

No discharge



10.4

Day Ten

Had sex 10 hours before photo was taken



11.2

Day Eleven

Some milky discharge at end of the day



12.2

Day Twelve

Slight amount of white discharge



14.2

Day Fourteen





15.3

Day Fifteen





17.3

Day Seventeen

Watery discharge



18.6

Day Eighteen

Cervical fluid is eggwhite consistency



19.2

Day Nineteen

Cervix appears lower in vagina today




20.1

Day Twenty





21.2

Day Twenty-One





22.1 - or early morning of Day 23

Day Twenty-Two





23.3

Day Twenty-Three





24.8

Day Twenty-Four





25.4

Day Twenty-Five





26.7

Day Twenty-Six





27.3

Day Twenty-Seven

A few minutes of very heavy pressure in vagina, some pain, then tingling for about 5 minutes





28.8

Day Twenty-Eight

One minute in morning of feeling pressure and crampy like yesterday morning,  otherwise normal

Slightly fishy vaginal odor




29.5

Day Twenty-Nine

One pang of crampy pain today



30.3

Day Thirty

248 thoughts on “Age 25 – Entire Cycle, IUD

  1. Hello,

    I had the copper IUD insert three days ago. The cramping was bad at first but start to die down on the evening of the second. But then on the afternoon of the 3rd day the cramping came back and then about an hour later blood and discharge came out. I think I am definitely ovulating because it has been about a week since my last period ended, so could this be why there is discharge and blood?

    Thanks

    [Reply]

    Belle Reply:

    Oh and it is quite a lot of blood – as though I am in the final few days of my period again…

    [Reply]

    beautifulcervix Reply:

    Heavy bleeding does not usually accompany ovulation – sounds like you ought to call your doc and check in.

    [Reply]

  2. Tmi. I just had my paragard inserted 3 days ago. I didn’t check the string until yesterday and noticed that they seemed long. I don’t know what length they should be. They are about an inch from the opening of my vagina. Ihad bad cramps the first day and now they are subsiding. Are my strings too long or am I expelling? I am going to call my doctor when she is in. I don’t know if this makes a difference, but I am 22 and have never had children.

    [Reply]

    mary Reply:

    Also I had white tissue like substances along with my reular period blood. That has never happened before. I missed my last period so it may be the extra lining :/

    [Reply]

    Grace Reply:

    You are probably not expelling. Spotting and bleeding are common with all IUDs post insertion (for up to like, 3 months) and it is especially common with the copper IUD. Cramps are normal, too. Some doctors cut the strings shorter than others– if they are cut too short they apparently have a tendency to “poke” the tip of the penis, which can be pretty uncomfortable. Mine are cut long too. I hear that they will probably eventually curl up around my cervix. If you are experiencing serious pain or filling up a supermax pad in like, an hour, or if you have a fever, there could be a problem, but otherwise it sounds like you are totally normal!

    [Reply]

  3. Wow, interesting to see! I have always been a horrible curious person. … One of the less pictures I could find of a cycle focussed on the cervix, just for checking how stuff works inside seen I sometimes wonder how the discharge works and what I am feeling with my fingers while exploring, en how that stuff would look and where/how it comes from. Here I see the more lumpy white discharge at the end of a cycle is rather normal, thereby the comment about the light ‘fishy’ smell made me chuckle in recognition.

    [Reply]

  4. Do you think I could be pregnant? Please help! I’m afraid. My friends told me I’m not but want other opinions!?
    I had sex Sunday and when we finished his condom slipped off and was halfway in me. The end was laying on the bed and he pulled it out with ease. I freaked out cleaned and took a plan b like 2hrs after the incident. I’m on BC but I just recently gotten off of antibiotics that possibly wouldn’t make it work. I am due to ovulate on the 7th – 9th of this month! So I cut it real close. Im on loestrin 24 fe which is supposed to not make u ovulate but since I was on antibiotics for 3 months I am afraid. Like I said I took a Plan B right afterward. So what do y’all think? All the factors matter or should I not worry because I took a plan b I’m off antibiotics and started a new pack of BC Monday. I’m still freakin out I’m only 22 still in school(nursing school) and we are not bf/gf. :(((( afraid!!!!

    [Reply]

    beautifulcervix Reply:

    Sounds like your chances are pretty slim.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Mary Reply:

    Did you conceive Janell?

    [Reply]

  5. This is amazing. I love the whole project! I have always wondered what the cervix looks like at different times in the cycle, and as someone who has the Paragard IUD, this is absolutely amazing. Vagina power! :)

    [Reply]

  6. I had the Merena inserted on May 9. On the evening on May 20 my husband and I had sex and at the end after the movement seemed smoother and we then realized the condom had slid slightly down and semen had come out the edges. When i went to the bathroom I whipped and a good amount was on the toilet paper, it seemed mostly to lie on the outside of my vaginal opening not within, however, some may have ventured in. The end of the condom did not break, and some discharge was still inside the condom. I panicked and thought about plan B but it is a contraceptive as well so the pharmacist informed me it would not really make a difference since i was on a consistent contraceptive. Should I worry??? Because i am (worry wart)…. :(

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    What ended up happening?
    In the future, I would probably use condoms for 7 days after insertion of the Mirena and call your doctor to ask about getting Plan B if the condom broke.

    [Reply]

  7. This is awesome!! I had myaragard inserted 8 days ago and so far so good. Still terribly worried about perforation (how strong and durable is the uterus anyways?) and expelling (heard expelling and perforation hurt so bad! The Internet is scary!) – I am 23 with no children (1 pregnancy but it didn’t make it past a month). This was awesome to see someone else with. Paragard!! However I’m worried because I could feel my strings this morning but could not after sex. Is that normal? Will they come back out?

    Again, this is amazing!!! Hope to get a reply!

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Shouldn’t worry about perforation – it’s rare, and it really happens only during the actual insertion of the IUD. (Which is why you want to make sure you get it done by a doctor who has inserted IUDs before!). It’s rare but possible for it to be expelled – it’s less likely the longer it is in you. Basically, it would feel like some intense cramping and suddenly, you would see the IUD! Have you been able to feel your strings again? If not and you’re worried, you could always go to your doctor.

    [Reply]

  8. Thanks for including IUD photos. I recently had a mirena put in, and I haven’t managed to feel the strings yet but I’m due for a schedule soon anyway. We’ve been using condoms since, as I want to wait for the checkup to make sure it’s sitting correctly (still having pain about 3 weeks after insertion) but it’s really interesting to know the strings could poke my boyfriend’s penis.

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    What did they say at the checkup? Hopefully, the strings are long enough (the doctor cut them long enough) so that they hide in the back of your vagina and don’t poke your boyfriend’s penis.

    [Reply]

    ella Reply:

    Yes they can and my husband said its like being poked in the head of his penis with a dull needle. I have had 2 mirena IUDs. Strings too long and scraped sides of penis first time. And the last they were too short and stabbed right into tip of penis. Not getting another one! Good luck to anyone else, men don’t like them…

    [Reply]

  9. I have the paraguard and I always check my strings! I had my period two and a half weeks ago so I check my string and noticed it longer than usual. I literally inserted my finger no more than an inch and felt the string! Wanted to see if this is something to worry about? Oh and I love this website! I think every woman should know about their bodies to help them recognize from what is normal and what is not!!!

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    It’s most likely fine, but if you’re worried, see your doctor! :)

    [Reply]

  10. I tried to get the iud.copper today but I failed the Dr said that my cervix was to tight does anyone know why is it normal I was really looking forward to get it and know I’m so disappointed. :(

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Sometimes the opening to the cervix can be small, especially if you haven’t had babies yet. Some doctors can use a dilator to make the opening a little bit bigger in order to insert the IUD. (Take some ibuprofen before the IUD insertion to help minimize the cramping that happens.) Don’t worry – having a “tight” cervical opening is likely normal.

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    You could also try to get the IUD when you’re menstruating – it can make the insertion easier.

    [Reply]

  11. I love this, too! very interesting to see the photos throughout the entire cycle. I was looking for changes in pregnancy, but no photos of that yet :) I would offer myself for that, if you say it is possible to take the photos myself with the help of one of your kits? If you send me a kit, i’ll send you some photos :) i am six weeks pregnant now (and became so while having a copper IUD – that was poorly positioned, but the doctor said it would still be effective – nah!)

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Here’s how to participate! http://www.beautifulcervix.com/participate/

    [Reply]

  12. thank you for the wonderful experiance,i have the IUD on i am turning a year with it,i dnt have any cramps nor period pains the thing is that when i go on my periods i became heavy that i had to use a tampon and a pad together.Up to so far i am loving it even though i am scared that is not 100% safe and i can still fall pregnent, ii have 02 children. thank you.

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Glad you found the pictures useful. Any form of birth control, other than not having sex at all, is not 100% effective. *But* an IUD is just as effective as tying your tubes (over 99% effective!!) and it’s not permanent.

    [Reply]

  13. I had the paraguard iud inserted 11 days ago. I haven’t expiereced any bleeding yet. I have had this odorless milkish discharge and it seems to be very uncomfortable to sleep on my left side. I have had dome very terrible cramps too. Is this normal?

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Yep! This is normal – just take some ibuprofen or naproxen, and the cramps should go away. :)

    [Reply]

  14. Hi,
    I had my mirena fitted 4months ago. My initial bleeding lasted about 6 weeks which was very tiring! I am already noticing the benefits though – far less cramping and a much lighter flow, although for me this still lasts around 7 days so far.
    I’ve a question. Depending on the time of the month I sometimes can’t feel my strings at all. During a bleed they hang so low that they are pretty much hanging out (sorry if tmi!) Usually I can feel then a bit, but right now I haven’t been able to for about 3 or 4 days. I’m sure they’ll reappear as they have before but wondered if I should be worried about this?! Has anyone else found this happens to themselves?

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    That should be fine. To be honest, I do not check my strings more than once a month and sometimes forget to check for a few months. If it was expelled (fell out), you would probably feel an immense amount of cramping and then see the IUD. But you can always have it checked by your doctor.

    [Reply]

  15. hello,
    i inserted the copper iud 12 days ago and have been having fever.please what should i do,i need answers.
    thanks

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Sorry I did not see this until now – I hope you called your doctor. It’s a little farther out than normal to be related to the IUD, but you should probably get checked out.

    [Reply]

  16. So discharge is normal? ever since I had the IUD (about a year) I’ve had a discharge more often than before I had the copper IUD inserted. what causes that? and is it ok to take water and vinager douches? I’m just very self conscious about it

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Some discharge is absolutely normal. Call your doctor if it smells fishy, is green in color, is clumpy and cottage cheesy. Don’t do douches! You have normal bacteria in your vagina, and the douche will get rid of that and could cause a yeast infection.

    [Reply]

  17. Please I had a copper IUD fixed 2weeks ago,had sex twice dis wEek and I cant seem to feel d strings anymore. I have inserted my whole finger,swiped left right cant find it.went to d hospital but was told its normal, probaby curled up.I’m worried cos don’t wanna get pregnant now. My baby is barely 6months.

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    If you went to the hospital and got it checked out, it most likely is fine and likely is just curled up inside. If you’re really anxious about it, you could always ask to have an ultrasound to look for the IUD placement. (However, that might be expensive.)

    [Reply]

  18. I had my paraguard put in 13 days ago and recently started noticing that I had to change my undies 2 times a day and started wearing liners due to having clear discharge wet my undies too much and today I woke up and noticed a slight fishy smell, still clear discharge, showered and a while later had that smell again. Is this normal? Im not itchy, no yeast infection and only had sex twice with my partner since getting my IUD.
    Its the first time since 12ish years that I get completely off birth control pills so is this my bodys way of adjusting itself maybe? I am now 29.

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Very well could be normal, especially since it’s clear discharge. Also – your body may be readjusting itself, like you said, since you’re now getting off hormones. Or maybe you have a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis? Maybe wait a few days and if it persists and especially if it’s making you itchy or worsening, call your doctor.

    [Reply]

  19. Hey! I hv had a copper IUD last 15 nd hv bn bleeding and having cramps? Is this normal nd shd i b worried? My doctor said i should wait for a month to c if it ll continue

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Hi, Could not really understand when you had the copper IUD in but, yes, it can cause worse bleeding/cramps during your period. Try taking ibuprofen or naproxen.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Hamilton Reply:

    Hello, Dr. Hamilton here, I was curious in your response to many worried people as to why you would recommend ibuprofen for bleeding patients. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NAID) that does in fact decrease inflammation within the muscular tissues but is the most commonly misunderstood drug when it comes to the reproductive system. If anyone on this website is experiencing bleeding as well as cramping, I would recommend to them Tylenol. For instead of decreasing inflammation that you would expect ibuprofen to do, it actually causes increased GI bleeding and will increase the chances of anemia, or even cause more inflammation. So again those of you experiencing prolonged bleeding and cramping, go for a Tylenol or Advil rather than ibuprofen. PhD Hamilton. Practiced for over 20 years.

    [Reply]

  20. I got the paragard 8 days ago. First 3 days i was passing blood.clots and now im just bleeding.. Is this normal =( when is the bleesong goong to stop? I called my doc and he said to go bck in 2 wks if bleesing hasnt.stopped.. Im kinda scared

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    How much are you bleeding? If you are soaking (like, literally soaking through and not just mild/moderate bleeding) 2 heavy pads in 2 hours, call the doctor. Otherwise, it probably should pass.

    [Reply]

  21. I had my merina inserted on the 22 of october and got my period on the 6 of this month i am having mild cramps but today is the 16 and im still on my period with lasted 5 days before merina…is that normal

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    It may be your body adjusting to different hormones. I’d say watch and monitor your body over the next few months, likely fine.

    [Reply]

  22. I had the mirena IUD placed about two weeks ago, and I am still experiencing some pretty intense cramps. Some odorless discharge, and a tiny bit of bleeding. I don’t feel feverish or sick, just crazy cramps. I didn’t wait a week to have sex after the placement, only a few days. I called my doctor a week after, he said it was normal. Are these cramps okay? Should I be worried? I’m not too sure what to expect with this.

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Cramps are ok – take ibuprofen or naproxen, they will be your best friends for the next few days! I’d say take them every 6-8 hours around the clock for 1-2 days to get ahead of the pain.

    [Reply]

  23. Hi,
    I’ve had the paragard for about 8 months now. Recently, I haven’t been able to find the string. I found it again today… it feels softer and almost as if it was thinner. My husband and I had intercourse a couple days ago.. did something that felt deeper… and quick little bleeding (sorry tmi)… I was worried, but like I said string was no where to be found after that until today. My inside of my v area feels odd. A bit uncomfortable.. not so much a pain… just discomfort. No major pain or pang… is that normal/

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Probably is normal. Try ibuprofen, call your doctor if you’re concerned!

    [Reply]

  24. String disappeared again. I spent five minutes fishing fr it…and it curled up!!!! It feels closer to my cervix. I was relieved though.

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Oh good! Honestly, I don’t really check my strings that often. It becomes less and less likely that the IUD is going to fall out the longer it’s in there – and I would probably know too. (Like, I would have cramping and would probably even see the little T-shaped thing!) I maybe check my strings once a month and probably less.

    [Reply]

  25. I have had the mirena iud for about 13 months for the last 6 months they have not be able to find it vaginally. But the doctor can find it with an ultra sound it is a little scary but they want to wait til my five years is up to take it out. They have also told me that I might need surgery since they cant find it vaginally what should I do?

    [Reply]

  26. Hello, I had the copper IUD fitted two days ago I have bleeding that is getting lighter everyday and cramps are getting better every day, I checked my strings today for the first time, I went as far as I could go and felt around as much as I could but I couldn’t find my strings, is this normal or should I go to see the doctor?! I do not want to poke round and agitate anything as it’s only been two days! Thanks for reading and helping!!

    [Reply]

  27. Hi! I think this is beautiful. I can’t believe that i didn’t know how a cervix looks like! And it’s ironical because I have one. I feel very sad that in my country (Chile) this ignorance is so common and nobody cares… But thank you to help me to know myself a little bit more. Some time i will try to see my own cervix.
    (Sorry about my english, it’s not my native language)

    [Reply]

  28. beautifull cervix! that’s wonderfull.. it really helps anderstand a lot..
    i also do have a white creamy discharge before and after my periods, even before getting the copper iud. i wonder why it has increase in amount?? is it normal?? of curse no itching, just white and creamy. i got d iud since 3month now.
    waiting for yr reply,thanks
    ruby

    [Reply]

  29. I am seriously considering a copper IUD because of medication that makes any hormonal-based birth control not as effective. My question is a little different. My partner is “well-endowed”; are there any issues that might arise with an IUD during sex?

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    To answer your question, there shouldn’t be any issues, as the IUD is inside of your uterus and only the strings come through the cervix. It’s important to point out that some hormonal based birth control methods are extremely effective. The Mirena, the progesterone only IUD, is also over 99% effective.

    [Reply]

  30. I have had my Mirena IUD for 3 years. I loe it and hate t. I am a plus sized girl and was never able to feel my strings. I recently thought I was pregnant and went to the doctor. The doctor said I wasn’t pregnant, and that my strings had wrapped themselves around my cervix. My question is, should I be worried about that? My Mirena also causes me tons of cramps and sometimes sporadic periods.

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Shouldn’t be worried about it at all! And Mirena is known to cause intermittent periods and sometimes even no periods at all. It’s why some women love it and some women don’t like the method as much.

    [Reply]

  31. I had the Paragard IUD inserted in November of 2010 after my now 3 yr old daughter was 6 weeks old…..Ive NEVER had an exam after that(still havent) and never checked my strings…the one time I heard that you were suppose to check them was 2 yrs afterwards (last year) I was married at the time and my husband and I took “full advantage” of the contraceptive…….I have NOT been able to feel my strings AT ALL…but I also cant feel the Iud (which im told is a good thing)……but I figured after all this time and after sex (sometimes rough) the strings more than likely got pushed back into my cervix area. Should I be worried about NOT feeling the strings after 3 yrs?

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    I bet you it’s probably still there – but if you’re worried, you can see your doctor and they can do an ultrasound if they can’t see the strings during a speculum exam.

    [Reply]

  32. I just had a paragard put in a second time about 3 days ago, I hadn’t checked the strings but I was experiencing some discomfort and felt something poking me I decided to check my strings and they’re actually coming out of my vagina oRifice a bit. Theyre really uncomfortable and I dont know if it’s that my cervix is lower now or what. My question is shoyld I go back to the doctor? It really is uncomfortable and with my first iud I never had any problems the strings curled up after a while but thst just seem too long…. I havent expelled it because I don’t feel the tip of it coming out. Help!

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    I wonder if the strings are too long… your doctor can cut them shorter, if you find they’re not curling in the back of your vagina.

    [Reply]

  33. I have had the marina for about a month now just got my first period and the flow was lighter but it has been longer then norm going on almost 10 days the pictures are very helpful considering I’ve never been able to look and see what my cervix is so I don’t even know what I’m feeling for and if its normalI felt my stream a couple of days after I got the Mirena it felt a lot higher up than it does now since I’ve had my period so it has given me a little bit of a concern on whether or not it’s inserted right or if its an expulsion the first couple of days of my period my cramps seem to be a little bit worse but I have no pain now although I am still concerned about the expulsionI have read so many reviews it’s just so confusing on what I should be looking for in an expulsion situationto sum it all up your 30-day photos were a brilliant idea cuz its giving me a a little bit more confidence in what I’m actually feeling

    [Reply]

  34. I have had my IUD in for 8 months now. This is my second IUD. I have to wear a panty liner because I have this watery clear discharge without a smell. I sometimes think I am urinating on myself. Is this normal, or is my bladder leaking?

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Probably normal. If your bladder was leaking, it should smell of urine.

    [Reply]

  35. I got my paragard almost a week ago, so far so good. Cramps the first two days but I had my period during insertion so I can’t really say if the cramps were “worse or not”. I finally felt up for working out today but honestly I’m so nervous of expelling. I felt the strings before and they felt curled, now they feel straight… I’m so nuerotic hahaha. I chose the paragard due to not being able to be on hormones anymore with some health issues but not being on hormones makes me feel as if it’s less effective..

    [Reply]

    Micaela Reply:

    Congrats on getting the paragard! It’s just as effective as the Mirena – in fact is 99% effective (as effective as tubal ligation but with an IUD, you can take it out when you want to have kids). Unless you’re post-partum, expulsion is rare – and you would probably see the IUD coming out. So enjoy, don’t worry about it, and just take some ibuprofen/aleve if your menstrual cramps are worse than usual! (Take meds at the onset of the cramps, so the cramps never get too bad.)

    [Reply]

  36. I had a copper-IUD for almost 1 year until I got pregnant. Apparently it just didn’t work. It was placed right and hadn’t changed position at all but it didn’t work. According to my calculation we must have concieved on one of my fertile days. Since then, I got another copper IUD just as a back-up and we use condoms on my fertile days. However, I am now 4 days late.. although according to my calendar/calculations we were safe during my fertile days. I am freaking out, this cannot happen to me again.

    [Reply]

  37. I have a iud called paraguard I was 5 days late on my period n finally had one but i quit bleeding n now I’ve got thick mucusy blood coming out when it hits my pad it black n mucusy looking what is this ? Is this normal? I don’t use protection during inter…”

    [Reply]

  38. I just had a mirena placed a few days ago and so far, loving it. the insertion was honestly not bad. I had read so many bad experiences, but i didn’t feel the sounding part, only the actual release of the iud. My obgyn places these frequently so maybe thats why… here’s hoping for no periods soon!

    [Reply]

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