If you’re looking for a birth control method that’s long-acting, reversible, and highly effective, an IUD, or intrauterine device, may be right for you. The small, T-shaped device is inserted into the uterus, where it prevents sperm from reaching an egg. An IUD can remain in place for several years, and it’s easy for your gynecologist to remove when you no longer need it. Plano Texas Gynecology & Obstetrics Associates provides IUD birth control devices to patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
How does an IUD work?
An intrauterine device, or IUD, is a small, plastic T-shaped birth control implement that’s positioned in the uterus and left in place to prevent pregnancy long-term. It’s considered a long-acting reversible method of birth control, in that it can remain in place for several years, and be removed easily at any time. As a long-acting type of contraception, IUDs are 20 times more effective than short-acting hormonal methods, such as birth control pills, the patch, and the ring. There are two kinds of IUDs:
Copper-releasing IUD: In addition to physically blocking sperm from reaching an egg, this type of IUD releases copper ions, which are toxic to sperm. Copper IUDs start working immediately and can remain in place for up to 10 years.
Progestin-releasing IUD: This IUD physically blocks sperm from reaching an egg. It also releases progestin, a hormone used in many kinds of birth control, to prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg. Progestin IUDs begin working seven days after insertion and can remain in place for 3-5 years, depending on the brand.
What are the benefits of an IUD?
There are several potential benefits of choosing an IUD for contraception, including:
- IUDs are more than 99% effective
- Almost all women can use an IUD
- You don’t need to think about birth control every time you have sex
- You and your partner won’t know it’s there, and it won’t interfere with sex or daily activities
- An IUD can be put in place immediately following childbirth, miscarriage, or an abortion
- It can be removed whenever you want to stop using it or wish to become pregnant
- The copper IUD is the most effective form of emergency contraception
- The progestin IUD can reduce heavy periods and decrease menstrual pain
- Both types of IUDs may reduce your risk of cervical cancer
How is an IUD inserted?
Following a review of your medical history and a pelvic exam, your gynecologist will place the IUD in a thin plastic tube and insert it into your vagina. After guiding it through your cervix and into your uterus, the tube is withdrawn, leaving the T-shaped device in place. IUDs have two small strings that are left hanging from your cervix, inside your vagina. These strings, which you won’t notice, allow your doctor to remove the device when the time comes.
IUD insertion may cause minor discomfort, cramping, or pain. Although you may not have any side effects, some women experience cramps or backaches for a few days or a few weeks following the procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate any short-term discomfort.
Dr. Joseph offers Hormone Pellet Therapy. Call us to book your appointment today.