If Mirena IUD strings are "tucked back", what keeps them from poking ME?
August 8, 2008 10:34 AM   Subscribe

If Mirena IUD strings are "tucked back", what keeps them from poking ME?

I had the Mirena inserted yesterday, and in the evening this occurred to me. I have searched and not found an explanation, and when I called the doc they had JUST closed for the weekend. So hopefully someone out there can explain this.

The doc showed me the strings and how the very ends of them can feel sharp to the man during sex if he hits them. But if the strings are "tucked back" behind the cervix she explained, he would only ever hit the sides and it would not hurt.

But that means the "sharp" ends (I know they're not sharp to our fingers but sharp to other areas) are turned around to face my...er, insides...so what stops them from poking me during sex or just during daily activities?

It doesn't hurt, I am not worried something is wrong right now, so this isn't an see-a-doctor-now situation. I just don't understand how this tucking thing works and I missed reaching my doc. Now it's going to bug me all weekend. Thanks ask.me
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)

Not a doctor, but.... isn't the head of a man's penis way more sensitive than women are that far up inside? The same reason we can wear tampons without really feeling them.
posted by changeling at 10:54 AM on August 8, 2008

F = ma.

If the ends are tucked up between the IUD and you, they're not going to move far when the pushed by Mr. Penis, and the push will be against the whole IUD, spreading out the force.

Mr. Penis, on the other hand, is moving farther and faster, and all of the force of his movement will impact on the tiny area of the sharp end of the string.

It's the same principle that allows a single nail to puncture you if you flop down on it, while a whole bed of nails supports your weight with only minor pain if you carefully place your whole body on it.
posted by orthogonality at 11:04 AM on August 8, 2008

A tampon doesn't touch your cervix, so I'm not sure it's really the same thing.

Good question. I'm having my Mirena inserted on Tuesday and I'm all about the random details. I've never read anything about tucking back the strings, and didn't think that for most men, the ends of the strings were considered a problem.
posted by padraigin at 11:04 AM on August 8, 2008

I haven't heard the term 'tucked back,' but mine are supposed to 'coil up' and stay out of the way. My doc purposefully left them on the long side of the acceptable range, because she says they're less pokey that way.

disclaimer: I am a paragard woman.
posted by cobaltnine at 11:27 AM on August 8, 2008

The strings don't seem to so much as bend back in a U shape as sort of go round sideways (all by themselves, may take a while to get there), so they don't poke into anything during sex or at any other time.

The answers to many IUD-related questions that you never thought to ask can be found at IUD Divas on livejournal, but don't panic at all the questions from the minority of people who *have* had things go wrong!
posted by Lebannen at 11:41 AM on August 8, 2008

My IUD strings kind of tuck around the cervix, so that they're nicely wrapped. I've not had anyone say they ever felt it, so that's one woman's experience.

grumble grumble it's not like i have sex hardly ever, so take that how you will. grumble. garrrrrr. grumpy.
posted by Stewriffic at 12:40 PM on August 8, 2008

FWIW mine were/are progressively less "poky" over time. I've never really felt them at all, other than when I am feeling FOR them. Good luck with your Mirena, I love mine.
posted by Medieval Maven at 3:25 PM on August 8, 2008

I have a Mirena. My doc initially left the strings long, on the theory that we could always trim them shorter. At first, they poked the hell out of me, so I went back for a trim. Now they're no trouble at all, to either me or my husband. They've kind of wound up near the cervix, so they're out of the way.
posted by workerant at 4:01 PM on August 8, 2008

Mine kind of curl around my cervix. I've never felt them except with my fingers, so I wouldn't worry so much about it feeling sharp. However, I guess it could cause little abrasions on the area that you wouldn't be able to notice.

I'm not sure if you were asking about this in a pain context or an STI context, but you should know that the Mirena raises your risk of STIs, both because the hormones make the vaginal cell wall thinner (easier for stuff to get in) and the string makes it possible for things to travel up into the uterus, which is sterile and not very good at fighting things off. Any small abrasions from the tip of the string would also heighten this risk.

So! New partner? Condoms. Every time.
posted by heatherann at 10:46 AM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

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