What is an IUD and how it works?
An IUD (the acronym for “intrauterine device”) is a very popular form of birth control because it is safe, effective, and convenient.
To get an IUD, you will need to be examined by your doctor to determine which size and type of device are best for your body and to have a discussion about all the various options available. Together you and your Viva Eve doctor will pick an IUD that works for you and your unique circumstances.
An IUD is a small, T-shaped device made of plastic that will be inserted into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two basic types of IUDs to choose from:
- A copper or non-hormonal IUD that physically prevents sperm from reaching an egg. The copper in these devices is a natural preventative that deters sperm. ParaGard makes these IUDs.
- A hormonal IUD releases a hormone that makes pregnancy impossible. The FDA has approved four brands: Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla.
When you decide between a copper IUD vs. hormonal IUD, the important thing to consider is whether you want to maintain your menstrual cycle or whether you feel comfortable with a reduced or nonexistent period.
The difference between the hormonal IUDs include:
- Mirena releases the highest levels of hormones. When using this IUD, you may find that your periods stop altogether.
- Kyleena uses slightly fewer hormones than Mirena, but you can leave it in just as long. Because of the lower hormone levels, you tend to maintain your menstrual cycle.
- Liletta delivers nearly the same amount of hormones as Mirena. It is intended to be used for up to 4 years.
- Skyla releases the least amount of daily hormones and is slightly smaller in size. Your menstrual cycle is more likely to be maintained. Like Liletta, Skyla IUDs need to be replaced in three to four years.
The IUD Insertion Procedure
To insert the IUD, the doctor will fold the arms of the IUD and place the IUD into a small tube. The tube will be inserted through your cervix and positioned properly in your uterus. Once in place, the arms of the IUD will open back up, and the applicator tube will be removed. A small string hangs from the IUD into the top of your vagina, but you and your sexual partners will not feel it. The string enables the device to be easily removed or replaced
When it is time to remove your IUD your Viva Eve Ob/Gyn will also do it in our office.
IUD offers many benefits with minimal risks
- IUDs are considered one of the most effective modes of birth control
- IUDs are safe to use; IUD side effects are minimal
- IUD insertion is done in your gynecologist’s office
- The device can be removed easily
- It does not impact your long-term fertility
- You may have an IUD inserted at any time during your menstrual cycle.
The risks are of course minimal when the IUD insertion is done by Viva Eve’s expert gynecologists.
- The biggest potential risk occurs when the IUD is put in place. It could cause a perforation of your vagina or uterus wall.
- Infection is another risk during the insertion procedure. An untreated IUD infection can impact your fertility, so get any infections treated immediately.
- It is important to notify your doctor if you have heavy bleeding or cramps that are not controlled by over-the-counter pain medications following your IUD insertion. If you have concerns about the position of your IUD, it is important to notify your doctor.