An IUD is safe, effective and so easy

Do you have kids – one, two or even three? Maybe your family is complete – or perhaps you are on the fence about adding another child. Not now, but maybe someday…your life is crazy enough as it is. There is good news for women like you – it’s called an IUD. IUD stands for intrauterine device, it is a safe and virtually worry-free birth control – and it is 99% effective. An IUD is an easily reversible form of birth control that can last from 5 to 10 years. Are you a good candidate for an IUD?

There is more than one option when considering an IUD

An IUD is a small, plastic, T-shaped device. In their office, your OBGYN will insert the IUD into your uterus through the vagina and cervix. It is a quick and relatively painless process. Currently, the IUD is available in two forms in the United States. The ParaGard (or Copper) T 380A has been used since 1988 – it is coated with copper which slowly releases into the uterus and blocks sperm from entering the vagina. It can last as long as 10 years but has been linked to longer, heavier periods.

The Mirena is a newer form of IUD and it is quickly becoming more popular than its copper counterpart. The Mirena is an IUD with the same T-shape, but it releases small amounts of a progesterone hormone. These hormones thicken the cervical mucus so the sperm can not reach the eggs and it changes the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation. It can last up to five years and is associated with lighter periods.

Tell me more about an IUD!

If you are looking for a reliable, worry-free birth control, an IUD is a great choice. Some women may question a birth control they can not see – how can you be sure it is still there? There are long, thin plastic strings attached to an IUD that will hang down into the upper portion of your vagina. Your doctor will ask you to feel for those every day for the first few weeks, and then once a month to make sure your IUD is still in place. You can carry on with your normal life, normal sexual activity, and normal yearly appointments to your gynecologist – you do not need to do anything else to prevent pregnancy. Your IUD is working for you, right on schedule, every time.

When you decide if you would like to have more children, your doctor will remove your IUD and you can start trying to get pregnant. There are a few recommendations – an IUD is best suited for women who have had children (this lessens your risk for pelvic inflammatory disease) and are in a monogamous relationship (as an IUD does not protect against STDs and HIV). Side effects are usually quite minimal – and differ by the type of IUD. Some side effects include headaches, backaches, and heavier periods (with the ParaGard). An IUD can become dislodged or fall out – so it is important to stay in tune with your body and to visit your doctor regularly.

If you are interested in learning more about an IUD or other birth control options, call Dr. Hessel today. She has the experience, knowledge and resources you need to make the best decisions for your future.