Millions of women have chosen an IUD as their preferred contraceptive method. It’s not a decision you should make on a whim. If you are thinking about getting an intrauterine device, but you’re unsure, let us give you information to help you make an informed choice.
Two Types of Intrauterine Devices
An IUD is small, made of plastic, and shaped like a T. It is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy, and they remain there until removed.
Copper Releasing IUD
One type of IUD releases copper ions which are toxic to sperm. It starts working immediately. Due to its T-shape, it blocks sperm from reaching the egg and can remain in place for up to 10 years.
Progestin Releasing IUD
This IUD becomes effective after 7 days. Progestin helps thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus, and also thins the lining of the uterus. It has the same T-shape to block sperm from reaching an egg. It can stay in place from 3 to 8 years, but this is dependent on the brand used and the dosage. Your doctor at Women’s Care can explain which brand might be best for you.
Long-Term Effective Contraception, Plus Other Benefits
Using an IUD for contraception has a 99.97% efficacy rate. Nothing is better.
Using an IUD for contraception has the following benefits:
- It is the least expensive form of birth control lasting 3 to 10 years.
- It provides freedom from worry about pregnancy.
- It has no long-term effect on fertility. Fertility returns as soon as the IUD is removed.
- It may lower the risk of cervical cancer and endometrial cancer
- Progestin-containing IUDs release hormones in the bloodstream at a much lower dose than other forms of hormonal birth control, making the side effects from hormones less likely.
- There are no hormonal side effects with copper releasing IUDs.
Know About Negative Side Effects
Some side effects are possible. They include the chance of an ectopic pregnancy (although risk of any pregnancy is very low with an IUD in place), perforation of the uterus, some infections, and it does not protect against STDs. Other types of side effects usually dissipate after a few months. With the Progestin IUD, it is possible to have some side effects from the progestin hormone, such as PMS symptoms like acne, breast tenderness, headache, moodiness, and nausea. On the positive side, periods may be lighter, shorter, and less painful.
With copper infused IUD, you may have heavier periods and cramps. The good news is there is less of a risk of gaining weight.
IUDs may increase the risk of yeast infections.
You may develop benign ovarian cysts, but they are asymptomatic and usually resolve on their own.
It is possible to have cramps and pain during the insertion process. Mostly it is short-lived. Take an over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, prior to your appointment.
The decision to use an IUD for contraception is yours, but your doctor at Women’s Care can help you with all the questions plus all the pros and cons.
Contact Women’s Care at (913) 384-4990 for an appointment at our gynecology offices in Shawnee Mission and Overland Park if you are considering an IUD. Find out if it’s right for you.