If you're a woman looking for a safe and effective birth control without a lot of added side effects, then you might be considering an interuterine device, or IUD. These devices have been around in one form or another for decades, but many women nowadays don't give them much thought when they're choosing a type of birth control either because they don't know much about them or they think they're not safe. Some answers to common questions are listed below.
What is an IUD?
An IUD is a device inserted into the uterus which prevents a fertilized egg from implanting into the uterine wall. These devices are usually made of a combination of materials, but mostly of copper and plastic.
Who can use an IUD?
Anyone who has a uterus who is not currently pregnant or had a pelvic infection can use an IUD unless they're allergic to any of its components. They are suitable for young as well as older women. It doesn't matter if you've had kids or not.
What are the advantages to using this type of birth control?
IUDs come with a lot of advantages over other types of birth control such as pills, diaphragms, and condoms including:
They last for years: Depending on the kind you get, these discrete devices last for years with pretty much no fuss.
You can get pregnant when you want to: There's no need to wait if you want a baby, you should be able to get pregnant as soon as the device is removed.
No dealing with hormones: If you are sensitive, there is a brand available without hormones. If you need help with regulation or heavy periods, then there other brands are available with hormonal releases.
What are the disadvantages of using an IUD?
The disadvantages are few and only a minority of women experience, but they can include:
Heavy, painful periods: Some women notice that their periods get heavier and they experience cramps with the non-hormonal IUD.
Pregnancy issues: A very rare minority of women have experienced ectopic pregnancies or related issues. Since not all birth control is 100% effective, some women have gotten pregnant despite using this device.
Involuntary expulsion: There is a chance that the IUD may slip out of the uterus, especially when you first get the device. It's important to check its string and go in for your checkups regularly.
Like any type of birth control, IUDs may not be right for every woman, though they can solve a problem for women who are unable to use any other type of birth control. This device doesn't protect against diseases, and certain diseases can cause complications with an IUD, so it's best to protect yourself as necessary. If you want to know more about using this type of birth control, contact your doctor or gynecologist, like one from Healthcare for Women Only, to see if you're a good candidate.