Objectives: This study was undertaken to determine whether 400 mg of prophylactic ibuprofen can alleviate pain from insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD) and to measure level of pain with improved techniques.
Study design: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 2019 first-time IUD users: 1008 women received placebo and 1011 women received 400 mg of ibuprofen. Participants took the single tablet at least 45 minutes before IUD insertion. Immediately after insertion, participants recorded level of pain by using a 10-cm visual analog scale, with the value of 10 meaning "worst imaginable pain."
Results: Median level of pain was 1.0 for both ibuprofen and placebo participants; rank test statistics confirmed no difference. Some subgroups of women experienced higher pain (eg, nulliparous women), but ibuprofen still had no important impact on level of pain.
Conclusion: Even among first-time users, pain from IUD insertion is generally low. Prophylactic ibuprofen as used in this protocol does not reduce IUD insertion pain.