An IUD is a small T shaped device which is inserted and then left inside the uterus. There are two different types of IUD’s.The hormone IUD releases progestin. There are two types of hormonal IUD’s .
One is called the Mirena and it is approved to be used for up to 5 years. The other is called Skyla and it is approved to be used for up to three years.
The non-hormonal IUD is called Paragard. It does not contain hormones and it can be used for up to ten years. This IUD contains copper.
All of the IUD’s help to prevent pregnancy by preventing fertilization of the egg by the sperm.
The hormonal IUD also thickens the cervical mucus which makes it harder for the sperm to reach the uterus and fertilize the egg. Progestin also thins the uterine lining making it harder for a fertilized to attach.
The IUD is inserted after a pelvic examination has been performed by your health care provider. The IUD is placed in a slender, plastic tube which is guided into the vagina and thru the cervix into the uterine cavity and then released. The tube is removed leaving the IUD in place. Insertion amy cause some discomfort so taking an over the counter pain relief medication may help. After insertion the strings are trimmed so they should not bother you.
Benefits of the IUD:
- Once it is in place, you do not have to do anything to prevent pregnancy.
- No one can tell that you are using birth control.
- It can be inserted immediately after an abortion, miscarriage, or childbirth and while breastfeeding.
- It does not interfere with sex or daily activities.
- Almost all women are able to use an IUD.
- If you wish to become pregnant or wish to stop using it, you can simply have your IUD removed.
- The hormonal IUD helps decrease menstrual pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Serious complications from IUD use are rare. If a woman has a problem, it usually occurs during or soon after insertion.
- The IUD may come out of the uterus. 5% occurrence
- The IUD can perforate the uterine wall. 1/1000 insertions
- PID(pelvic inflammatory disease) is an infection of the uterus and tubes. This may cause scarring of the tubes and infertility. Usually occurs in the first 20days after insertion. 1/100
- Rarely, pregnancy may occur. If pregnancy does occur, there is a higher chance that it will be an ectopic pregnancy(in the fallopian tubes).