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Intrauterine device (IUD)

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  • Highly effective: IUDs are one of the most effective forms of contraception available, with a failure rate of less than 1%. Once inserted, they provide long-term protection against pregnancy without requiring any additional effort.
  • Long-lasting contraception: Depending on the type of IUD, they can provide contraceptive protection for several years. Hormonal IUDs can be effective for 3 to 8 years, while copper IUDs can last up to 10 years. This makes them a convenient option for those who desire long-term contraception without the need for daily or monthly maintenance.
  • Convenience and ease of use: Once inserted, an IUD does not require any ongoing effort or maintenance. Unlike other forms of contraception, such as daily pills or regular injections, you don’t need to remember to take or use anything on a regular basis. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who may have difficulty adhering to a strict schedule.
  • Hormonal and non-hormonal options: There are two main types of IUDs available—hormonal and non-hormonal (copper). Hormonal IUDs release progestin, a synthetic hormone that helps prevent pregnancy by thickening cervical mucus, inhibiting ovulation, and thinning the uterine lining. Copper IUDs, on the other hand, are hormone-free and work by creating an environment that is toxic to sperm, preventing fertilization. Having these options allows you to choose the type of IUD that aligns with your preferences and needs.
  • Reversible: If you decide you want to become pregnant or discontinue using the IUD for any reason, removal is a simple and quick procedure. After removal, your fertility should return to normal without delay.
  • Reduced menstrual bleeding and cramping: Many individuals experience a decrease in menstrual flow and severity of menstrual cramps with hormonal IUDs. This can be particularly beneficial for those who have heavy or painful periods.
  • Avoidance of estrogen-related side effects: If you cannot or prefer not to use contraceptive methods that contain estrogen, such as combined oral contraceptives, patches, or vaginal rings, IUDs can be a suitable alternative. Hormonal IUDs only contain progestin, which makes them a good option for individuals with certain medical conditions or those who experience side effects related to estrogen.

IUD FAQs

How does an IUD prevent pregnancy?
An IUD prevents pregnancy through different mechanisms. Hormonal IUDs release progestin, which thickens cervical mucus, inhibits ovulation, and thins the uterine lining. This makes it difficult for sperm to reach the egg. Copper IUDs create an environment that is toxic to sperm, preventing fertilization.
How long does an IUD last?
The duration of effectiveness depends on the type of IUD. Hormonal IUDs can provide contraceptive protection for 3 to 8 years, depending on the brand. Copper IUDs can last up to 10 years.
Can I feel the IUD inside me?
Once properly inserted, the IUD typically cannot be felt. However, some individuals may experience mild cramping or discomfort during the first few days or weeks after insertion. If you notice persistent pain or have concerns, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider.
Can I use an IUD if I haven’t had children?
Yes, both women who have had children and those who haven’t can use IUDs. It is a safe and effective option for most women, regardless of their reproductive history.
Can IUDs be used while breastfeeding?
Yes, IUDs can be used while breastfeeding. Hormonal IUDs, in particular, are considered safe during breastfeeding as they release a low dose of progestin, which is not known to affect milk supply.
How is an IUD inserted and removed?
Insertion and removal of an IUD are typically performed in a healthcare provider’s office. During insertion, a speculum is used to visualize the cervix, and the IUD is inserted through the cervix into the uterus. Removal involves grasping the IUD strings with forceps and gently pulling it out.
Can I get pregnant immediately after IUD removal?
Yes, fertility typically returns immediately after IUD removal. You can become pregnant as soon as you ovulate, which can happen within a few weeks after removal.
What are the potential side effects of IUDs?
Common side effects of IUDs may include cramping, irregular bleeding or spotting, changes in menstrual bleeding, and, for hormonal IUDs, hormonal side effects like breast tenderness or mood changes. Serious complications are rare but can include infection, expulsion, or perforation of the uterus.
Will insurance cover the cost of an IUD?
Many insurance plans cover the cost of IUDs. It’s advisable to check with your insurance provider to understand your specific coverage.

Be Well Primary Care believes in a patient-centered care approach to help our patients receive the most benefits to improve their health. We prioritize quality over quantity of the products we use so that you will get the best products.

Book your consultation today.

Book your consultation today.

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