With all the forms of birth control on the market, it’s common to receive mixed reviews and faulty information. At Cheyenne OBGYN, we place your health at top priority and want you to have all the correct facts before making important decisions about your body. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are now one of the most popular methods of birth control. With popularity comes many questions, and we’d like to clear some of those up. Here is everything you need to know about IUDs:
What is it?
An IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are a few different types of IUDs – some release hormones and some do not. Hormone-releasing forms include brands like Mirena and Kylenna, which prevent pregnancy for 5 years and Skyla, that prevents pregnancy for 3 years. ParaGard is a non-hormonal IUD that releases copper instead, which is toxic to sperm. This type prevents pregnancy for 10 years.
How effective are IUDs?
IUDs are known as one of the most effective types of birth control, with only a 0.2-0.8 percent failure rate. They require minimal maintenance after insertion.
How is it inserted?
Insertion involves a quick medical procedure in which a doctor dilates a woman’s cervix and passes the IUD through her cervical canal and into the uterus. Please be aware that this can be an uncomfortable procedure and may cause abdominal cramping and bleeding for up to a week. Cramping can generally be controlled with ibuprofen and/or Tylenol.
What are the benefits?
- After the initial discomfort and/or bleeding associated with insertion, hormonal IUDs often minimize the intensity of menstrual cycles tremendously.
- They are reversible at any time and can be used by women before and after they have children.
- IUDs have come a long way in the last 50 years. IUDs today are considered highly safe with minimal complications.
What are the side effects?
Like with any form of birth control, there are certain side effects that we want women to be fully aware of.
- Although very unlikely, there is the possibility of uterine perforation, i.e. the IUD pokes through the wall of the uterus, causing complications that should be addressed immediately.
- The IUD may detach itself and push itself out of the cervix, eliminating its ability to prevent pregnancy.
- ParaGard IUDs can cause heavier or worse periods.
- IUDs are not recommended for women who have had STIs (sexually transmitted infections) or other infections, vaginal bleeding not associated with menstruation, or certain other medical complications.
Like with any decision regarding your health, it is imperative to talk to your doctor to see which option is right for you. Speak to one of our knowledgeable team of OBGYNs today by calling 307-634-5216 to discuss IUDs in further detail.