The intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) is an established method of fertility regulation despite certain problems. The major problems relating to IUD use are unwanted pregnancy, excessive bleeding, genital infection, occasional uterine perforation, device translocation, and pelvic pain. All fertility regulation personnel are aware that a very large number of potential IUD acceptors are concerned about the possibility of pain before, during and after device insertion. Pain is recognized as one of the major reasons for termination of the use of the IUD. Despite this, and unlike other IUD problems, IUD-related pain has been very poorly studied. At a recent workshop on intrauterine contraception there was not one presentation on this topic. The reason for this is that IUD-related pain is difficult to study, requiring careful analysis of subjective rather than objective data. Nevertheless a thorough understanding of the mechanisms, causes, prevention and treatment of IUD-related pain is important for fertility regulators in both developed and developing countries.