Is an IUD Birth Control the Right Method for You?
Over the last decades, IUD birth control has dramatically increased in popularity. Why? This form of birth control is not only effective, but it lasts for several years, providing simple convenience for users.
We want to provide the information you need so you can make a decision about what type of birth control is right for you. We’ll look at what happens during IUD insertion, what an IUD feels like and how effective it is.
What is an IUD?
IUD stands for intrauterine device.
This is a small, T-shaped, plastic device that is inserted through your cervix into the base of your uterus. It’s a safe, effective, long-term birth control method.
It’s also one of the most effective methods of birth control. It’s ideal for those who don’t want —or have trouble remembering—to take a pill every day.
How Effective is an IUD?
If you take 100 women who use an IUD over the course of a year, only one (or less) could become pregnant. This gives them better statistics than:
- The pill
- The patch
- The ring
- The shot
But an IUD will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections; you’ll need to use a condom.
How Does IUD Birth Control Work?
Some work by releasing hormones, while others use copper, which is an effective spermicide.
Copper IUDs can be left in place for up to 10 years.
The hormonal IUDs release progestin that thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg. This is similar to the way birth control pills work. Depending upon the brand of hormonal IUD that you select, they can be effective for three to five years.
However, because it can take up to a week for the hormonal IUD to start working, you should use condoms or an additional form of birth control until they take effect.
What Does Getting an IUD Feel Like?
Some women experience some cramping during IUD insertion. It usually helps you to take an over-the-counter pain reliever before having the IUD placed. In some cases, we may even numb your cervix before we put it in.
In many ways, IUD insertion feels similar to getting Pap smear in that we use the speculum to open the walls of your vagina. We then carefully place the IUD through the cervical opening and into your uterus.
Some women may experience backaches after the insertion.
The whole process takes less than five minutes.
After you get the IUD, you’ll have a string about two inches long coming out into the top of your vagina. You shouldn’t be able to feel it at all. We use that string for IUD removal later.
Please don’t pull on the string, as you may dislodge your IUD.
Can I Get an IUD While I’m on My Period?
Yes. We can even put one in right after you’ve given birth. Just let us know what you want and need.
What Happens During IUD Removal?
We’ll insert a speculum—as we do during a Pap smear—so we can access the threads hanging from your IUD. We’ll gently pull the strings and remove the device. You may feel some cramping as we remove the IUD.
So How Do You Determine If an IUD is Right For You?
We realize that every patient is different. You are a good candidate for an IUD if you want a long-term form of effective birth control that doesn’t involve taking pills. IUDs are the longest-lasting form of birth control, and their convenience has caused them to soar in popularity over the last decade.
We’ll walk you through the process, taking a look at your overall health history and evaluate what form of birth control will best suit your needs and your lifestyle.
Associates in Women’s Healthcare: Care for Women by Women
When it comes to birth control, there are several options. For decades, we have worked closely with women throughout the Raleigh and Triangle areas to help them decide which method is best for them.
Do you think an IUD may be the right choice for you? Please contact us for an appointment. We’ll be glad to help you!