Self-Administered Lidocaine Gel for Intrauterine Device Insertion in Nulliparous Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Sep;128(3):621-8. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001596.


Objective: To evaluate self-administration of vaginal lidocaine gel to decrease pain with intrauterine device (IUD) insertion in nulliparous women.

Methods: In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, women self-administered 2% lidocaine or placebo vaginal gel 5 minutes before IUD insertion. The primary outcome was change in pain from baseline to IUD insertion on a 100-mm visual analog scale. We also assessed pain after speculum insertion, tenaculum placement, uterine sounding, and 5 minutes after IUD insertion. Secondary outcomes included patient acceptability, ease of IUD insertion, and need for pain medication for up to 7 days.

Results: From July 2012 to May 2013, 59 women were randomized; 30 received lidocaine gel and 29 placebo. Baseline demographics, including age, race, and body mass index, were similar. There was no difference in median change in pain during IUD insertion in women receiving lidocaine (61 mm [interquartile range 53-71]) compared with placebo (69 mm [interquartile range 63-80], P=.06). Women receiving lidocaine experienced less pain with tenaculum placement (32 mm [interquartile range 18-54]) compared with placebo (56 mm [interquartile range 26-75], P=.02). Most (76%) women were satisfied with their IUD insertion experience and 86% would probably or definitely recommend an IUD to a friend. Thirty-four percent of women required pain medication for at least 3 days after IUD insertion.

Conclusion: For nulliparous women, self-administered vaginal lidocaine gel does not reduce pain with IUD insertion, but does decrease pain with tenaculum placement.

Clinical trial registration:,, NCT01534520.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices / adverse effects*
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Parity
  • Self Administration
  • Surgical Instruments / adverse effects
  • Vaginal Creams, Foams, and Jellies / administration & dosage
  • Young Adult


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Vaginal Creams, Foams, and Jellies
  • Lidocaine

Associated data