Intrauterine Device or IUD
An Intrauterine Device or IUD, is a safe, effective and long-lasting birth control device. The small, plastic, T-shaped device is inserted into uterus through the vagina, where it helps to prevent pregnancy. It is 98-99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
There are two types available: one which is wrapped in copper and one which contains hormones. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about which type is a better option, depending on your medical history and lifestyle.
The IUD is a small device that is inserted into your uterus. As a long-term birth control option, this is a good choice for women who plan to have more children.
There are two types of IUDs:
- Copper IUD: Also known as Paragard (TM), this IUD is made of flexible plastic and wrapped with copper. It does not contain hormones and can remain in your uterus for 10-12 years. It works by preventing the sperm from joining with an egg. To learn more, visit www.paragard.com
- Hormone IUD: Also known as Mirena (TM) or Skylar (TM), this IUD is made of flexible plastic and contains the hormone progestin. It can remain in your uterus for 3-5 years. To learn more, visit www.mirena-us.com
If an IUD is a good option for you, you will need to see your healthcare provider, who will insert the IUD into your uterus. Depending on your medical history and IUD type, you can use an IUD for several years. A plastic string attached to the IUD runs down through your cervix into your vagina, and assists with IUD removal.”
As with any medication or medical device, there are risks. Women who should avoid using an IUD include those who:
- have a history of pelvic infections
- have untreated cervical cancer
- have abnormal vaginal bleeding
- have sexually transmitted infections/diseases
- have liver disease
- have breast cancer
- are pregnant
- have copper allergies
Talk with your provider about whether or not an IUD is a good option for you.
There are several disadvantages to consider:
- upfront costs for insertion can be expensive
- must be inserted by a medical provider
- does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- can spread existing genital infections
There are a number of advantages to consider:
- 99% effective in preventing pregnancy
- easy to use
- safe for women who are breast feeding
- cost effective long term
IUDs usually require 1 to 3 visits with your provider. These include an office visit to discuss your IUD options and a visit to insert the IUD. Sometimes a follow up visit is necessary, usually 1 month after your IUD insertion.