If you’re not ready to start a family and want to try a birth control method that’s largely hassle-free, an intrauterine device — IUD — may be the perfect solution. They are one of the most effective forms of reversible birth control.
An IUD is a small, T-shaped device that’s inserted into your uterus while on your menstrual cycle. They work by either affecting the ovum and sperm to prevent fertilization or by making the cervical mucus thick and sticky - thus not allowing sperm to travel to the ovum. They are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. They do not protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI's).
An IUD offers many advantages over other forms of birth control, such as:
- No effort is required, such as taking a daily pill or receiving injections.
- The method is reversible by simply removing the device.
- Only one in 100 women have reported getting pregnant using an IUD.
- It does not cause weight gain.
The hormonal IUD has also been effective in reducing menstrual bleeding and cramps. There is also new data that suggests it is helpful with problems associated with endometriosis.
Henderson & Walton offers the following IUDs:
- Skyla® (3 year hormonal IUD)
- Mirena® (5 year hormonal IUD)
- Kyleena® (5 year hormonal IUD)
- Paragard®(10 year copper IUD)
Your Henderson & Walton physician will review the options with you to help you choose one that is right for you.
We do recommend you confirm coverage with your insurance company prior to scheduling an appointment for IUD placement. Placement should be at the time of your menstrual cycle or at postpartum visit.
As with any birth control method, there are side effects and risks. When it comes to IUDs, the following risks or side effects have been reported:
- Menstrual problems: The copper IUD has increased menstrual bleeding and cramps in some women, while the hormonal IUD has reduced menstrual bleeding in most women.
- Perforation: While uncommon, an IUD can get stuck and perforate your uterus, which usually occurs during insertion.
- Expulsion: This is also rare, but some women’s bodies push the IUDs out of the uterus during the first year.
Also, you should not consider an IUD if you have a pelvic infection, or have a history of reactions to copper.