When you want a long-term birth control that has a greater than 99% effectiveness rate in preventing pregnancy, consider an intrauterine device, or IUD. At Comprehensive Women’s Health, OB/GYNs Dr. Lana Powell and Dr. Soyoun Lee can help you understand the pros and cons of this form of contraception, so you can decide if it’s the right option for you. Women living in and around Oxford and Birmingham, Michigan can call the office or book online to learn more about the IUD as birth control and a strategy to manage uterine bleeding, too.
IUDs are tiny pieces of T-shaped plastic that a doctor places in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. Several types of IUD are available, including Mirena®, Kyleena®, and ParaGard®, all of which are available at Comprehensive Women’s Health.
Mirena and Kyleena emit the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy and work for six and five years, respectively, to prevent pregnancy. ParaGard is a copper IUD and doesn’t contain hormones. ParaGard protects you from pregnancy for up to 12 years.
Both copper and hormonal IUDs change the way sperm acts, so they can’t fertilize an egg. The copper in ParaGard repels sperm. The hormones in Kyleena and Mirena have two ways of preventing pregnancy: They thicken your cervical mucus, making it impossible for sperm to travel, and sometimes stop ovulation, so there’s no egg for sperm to fertilize.
ParaGard is an option for emergency contraception. If you have it placed within five days of unprotected sex, it’s 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancy. ParaGard is a superior alternative to the morning-after pill, the other form of emergency contraception.
Only male and female condoms offer a measure of protection against STDs; IUDs do not. If you are not in a committed relationship, it’s a good idea to use a condom along with your IUD to protect you against getting or spreading an STD and to prevent pregnancy.
An IUD can only be placed by a healthcare provider. The team at Comprehensive Women’s Health are here to help you determine if it’s the right choice for you and to oversee the insertion.
Dr. Powell or Dr. Lee put the IUD in through your vagina until it reaches your uterus. You may feel slight pain or cramping, but these sensations are brief. Following IUD insertion, you may have dizziness and some spotting for a few days.
A string of about one to two inches will trail out of your cervix, but you won’t really notice it. Occasionally checking for this string does help you know that your IUD is in place and hasn’t slipped.
To learn more about IUDs as an effective form of contraception, call Comprehensive Women’s Health, or book an appointment online.