An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. According to FRSH clinical guidelines, IUS is a long-acting form of birth control that can be very effective and convenient for many women and it has a licenced duration of 3-10 years. However, some women may experience side effects such as irregular periods, cramping, or changes in mood while using an IUD. When the IUD is removed, these side effects may persist or even worsen, as the body adjusts to the sudden changes in hormone levels. In some cases, hormonal imbalances can persist for several months after IUD removal, causing a range of symptoms including acne, hair loss, weight gain, and mood swings.
There are a variety of strategies that may be used to support hormone balance after IUD removal.
This article will explain:
- How hormone changes happen after IUD removal
- How long it takes to balance hormones after IUD removal
- Strategies and management of hormones after removing an IUD
Hormones after IUD removal
When an IUD is removed, hormonal abnormalities can occur, affecting a woman's physical and mental well-being. An IUD emits progestin or copper, depending on the type of IUD, which disrupts the menstrual cycle and alters hormone levels. When the device is removed, the body must readjust to natural hormone levels can cause a variety of symptoms including irregular periods, acne, hair loss, weight gain, and mood swings. The time it takes for a woman's hormone levels to settle varies, although some women may have hormonal irregularities for several months after removing her IUD.
One of the most common hormonal imbalances associated with IUD removal is estrogen dominance. This occurs when there is too much estrogen in the body in relation to progesterone. Symptoms can include mood swings, breast tenderness, headaches, and irregular periods. To address this, some healthcare providers may recommend supplements like vitamin B6 or magnesium to support progesterone production or natural remedies like maca root, which has been shown to support hormone balance.1
It is essential to work with a healthcare provider to develop a personalised plan for hormone balance after IUD removal. They can provide guidance and monitor hormone levels.
How to balance hormones after IUD removal?
Dietary modifications are a method for rebalancing hormones following IUD removal. Consuming a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients that promotes hormone production can help the body regain hormonal balance. For example, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and flaxseeds, can help reduce inflammation and support hormone production. Additionally, reducing sugar and caffeine intake can also help regulate hormone levels and improve overall health. 3 Exercise can also be an effective way to support hormone balance after IUD removal. Physical activity helps reduce stress levels and supports the body's natural detoxification processes. Studies have shown that regular exercise can help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).1
In some cases, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be recommended to address severe symptoms or persistent hormonal imbalances. HRT involves the use of medications that replace the hormones that the body is no longer producing in sufficient amounts. However, HRT is not appropriate for all women and may increase the risk of certain health conditions.2 Here are some key points on how to balance hormones after IUD removal:
- Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients that support hormone production can help the body restore hormonal balance
- Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and flax seeds, can help reduce inflammation and support hormone production
- Reducing sugar and caffeine intake can also help regulate hormone levels and improve overall health
- Exercise can be an effective way to support hormone balance after IUD removal by reducing stress levels and supporting the body's natural detoxification processes
- Regular exercise can help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Supplements and herbal remedies, such as magnesium, vitamin B6, maca root, and chaste berry, can help regulate the menstrual cycle and improve hormone balance
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be recommended to address severe symptoms or persistent hormonal imbalances, but it is not appropriate for all women and may increase the risk of certain health conditions, such as breast cancer
Balancing hormones after IUD removal can be challenging, but there are various strategies that women can use to restore hormonal balance. By making dietary and lifestyle changes, taking supplements or herbal remedies, and considering HRT in severe cases, women can support their bodies through the readjustment period and regain optimal health and well-being.
How long does it take for hormones to balance after IUD removal?
After an IUD is removed, a woman's hormones may take some time to restore to normal. As previously highlighted, the IUD releases either progestin or copper, which can disrupt the menstrual cycle and affect hormone levels. Hence, when the device is removed the body requires time to adjust to changes and return to normal hormone levels. The time it takes to stabilise hormone levels depends on many factors such as:
- overall health
- and the type of IUD device used
In general, it can take several weeks to several months for hormone levels to return to normal. Some women may experience hormonal imbalances for up to six months. During this time, it is common for women to experience irregular periods, changes in mood and energy levels, and other symptoms related to hormonal fluctuations.
A study that investigated the effects of IUD, showed that the IUD caused significant changes in hormone levels, including decreases in estradiol, progesterone, and luteinizing hormone (LH), and increases in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). The menstrual patterns were also affected, with a significant increase in the number of days with spotting or bleeding during the first month after device removal. It also showed the menstrual patterns return to normal after three months following IUD device removal. This highlights it often takes 3 months for hormone levels return to normal levels.3
It is important to note that the length of time it takes for hormonal levels to balance after IUD removal can vary widely among individuals. Other factors that can impact the length of time it takes for hormonal levels to return to normal include underlying health conditions, such as thyroid disorders, and the use of medications that can affect hormonal levels.
Due to these factors, it can take several weeks to several months for a woman's hormones to balance after IUD removal. Women who experience persistent hormonal imbalances after IUD removal should consult with their healthcare provider for guidance and support.
Things to remember
When it comes to managing hormone balance after IUD removal, there are several things that women can do to support their bodies during this transition period.
- Healthy Lifestyle: First and foremost, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. A healthy lifestyle can help support overall hormonal health and minimize the impact of hormonal fluctuations
- Get advice from a healthcare provider:omen who are experiencing persistent symptoms related to hormonal imbalances after IUD removal may want to consider working with a healthcare provider to explore other treatment options. For example, certain types of hormonal birth control, such as the pill or patch, can help regulate menstrual cycles and hormone levels
- Natural remedies:Women who prefer non-hormonal methods may also consider using natural remedies, such as herbal supplements or essential oils, to support their hormonal health. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before using any new supplements or remedies to ensure they are safe and effective
- Time:it is important to be patient and give the body time to adjust after IUD removal. Hormonal imbalances can take several weeks to several months to resolve, and some women may experience ongoing symptoms even after their hormone levels have stabilized
Balancing hormones after IUD removal can be a challenging process for many women. Hormonal imbalances can cause a variety of symptoms, including irregular periods, mood swings, acne, and fatigue. These symptoms can persist for several weeks to several months after IUD removal and may require intervention from healthcare providers.
To support hormone balance, women are advised to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a well-balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. Women who continue to experience symptoms may also consider using hormonal birth control, natural remedies, or working with a healthcare provider to explore other treatment options.
It is important to be patient during the hormonal adjustment period and to give the body time to heal naturally. Hormonal imbalances can take time to resolve, and some women may experience ongoing symptoms even after their hormone levels have stabilised. Women are advised to consult with a healthcare provider if they experience persistent or severe symptoms.
Overall, balancing hormones after IUD removal requires a multi-faceted approach that includes lifestyle changes, natural remedies, and possibly medical intervention. By taking steps to support their hormonal health, women can minimise the impact of hormonal imbalances and improve their overall well-being.
- Amico JR, Bennett AH, Karasz A, Gold M. “She just told me to leave it”: Women’s experiences discussing early elective IUD removal. Contraception [Internet]. 2016 Oct [cited 2023 Mar 23];94(4):357–61. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0010782415301414
- Brooks NA, Wilcox G, Walker KZ, Ashton JF, Cox MB, Stojanovska L. Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. Menopause [Internet]. 2008 Dec [cited 2023 Mar 23];15(6):1157–62. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/00042192-200815060-00024
- Xiao B, Zeng T, Wu S, Sun H, Xiao N. Effect of levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device on hormonal profile and menstrual pattern after long-term use. Contraception [Internet]. 1995 Jun [cited 2023 Mar 23];51(6):359–65. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/001078249500102G