The intrauterine device (IUD) provides long-term birth control for women that is more effective than the pill, patch, ring, or condom. It’s effortless once it’s in, and it can be removed easily when you want to get pregnant. Its many benefits make it an excellent option for women of all ages who want worry-free birth control with minimal side effects.
Dr. Leroy Charles, FACOG, is an OB/GYN who provides the IUD and other birth control options to his patients in Greenacres, Florida. Learn why more women are turning to the IUD for their birth control and find out if it’s a good option for you.
What is an IUD?
An IUD is a T-shaped medical device about the size of a quarter that’s implanted into your uterus during a visit to our office. There are two types of IUDs. The copper IUD has no hormones. The hormonal IUD contains a hormone called progestin (levonorgestrel) that’s also found in birth control pills.
How does it work?
The copper IUD releases copper ions, which kill sperm before they can reach an egg for fertilization. The hormonal IUD causes a mild inflammatory response in your body that makes it difficult for an egg to survive or implant into the uterus. Even though it causes inflammation, the IUD is considered safe.
Benefits of an IUD
There are many benefits to using an IUD:
- Worry-free birth control — you don’t have to remember to take a pill every day
- Copper IUDs take effect immediately and last up to 10 years
- Hormonal IUDs are effective in about a week and last up to five years
- Light periods or no periods at all
- Can easily be removed any time
- Fertility returns as soon as it’s removed
With so many benefits, you can see why more women are turning to the IUD to help them prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Is the IUD effective?
Yes. IUDs are more than 99% effective and provide more protection from pregnancy than the pill, patch, ring, or condom. In other words, your chances of getting pregnant with the IUD are less than 1%.
Are there any side effects?
Some women do have side effects like cramping or spotting. You may feel some pain or discomfort when you first get the IUD, but over-the-counter pain relievers can help. Some women get ovarian cysts, which are usually harmless. This is rare, though.
IUDs aren’t recommended for women with breast, cervical, or uterine cancer, women with sexually transmitted infections or other pelvic infections, or unexplained vaginal bleeding. If you’re allergic to copper or have a medical condition that causes your body to retain copper, you shouldn’t use the copper IUD. Also, IUDs don’t prevent sexually transmitted infections, so you should use a condom to protect yourself.
If you’re thinking about getting an IUD, discuss your health history with Dr. Charles so he can determine if it’s the best option for you. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us by calling 561-784-7014 or booking online.