Birth control is an important issue in a woman’s life. If you’re not ready to have children, you may be curious about the different types of birth control methods that are out there. Intrauterine devices (IUD) has been around for awhile and offer many advantages to contraceptives that you have to think about on a regular basis.
An IUD is a device that is inserted into the uterus in order to prevent pregnancy from occurring. You’ve likely seen one in a photo or at your doctor’s office. It’s small and made of flexible plastic in the shape of a T. There are two main types of this device: copper and hormonal. The only copper IUD approved by the FDA in the United States is ParaGard. Skyla, Kyleena, Liletta and Mirena are the brand names of hormonal IUDs on the market.
How They Work
Both hormonal and copper intrauterine devices work by changing the path of sperm so they cannot ultimately reach and fertilize the egg. ParaGard repels sperm with its copper material, as sperm are averse to copper. Hormonal devices thicken cervical mucus, trapping sperm. They also can prevent ovulation, the process in which the egg leaves the ovaries. Therefore, there is no egg to be fertilized.
There are lots of benefits of an IUD. They’re long-lasting. A copper device can last up to 12 years, while hormones devices remain effective from three to six years depending on the brand used. This means you don’t have to worry about them once they’re in place. It’s a very convenient and flexible form of birth control. However, because they’re not permanent, you can have an IUD removed at any time, for any reason. Getting pregnant is possible immediately upon removal of the device, if you should decide pregnancy is something you desire. In addition, the copper IUD can be used as emergency contraception and is quite effective in this capacity as long as it is inserted within five days of unprotected sex.
As you can see, the IUD is a safe, reliable and convenient form of birth control for many women. Your doctor will conduct a medical exam and discuss your history to ensure you are a good candidate, if you feel this might be a contraceptive you’d like to consider. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation! Madonna OB/GYN and Medical Spa is conveniently located in Rochester and Geneseo, NY.