Intrauterine Devices (IUD)
An Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a “T-shaped” plastic rod with a string attached to the end. This small device is inserted through the cervix into the uterus where it stays in order to prevent pregnancy. The relative size of the device is comparable to a US quarter. Currently, there are two major types of IUDs, non-hormonal and hormonal. The hormonal IUDs contain progestin only and the non-hormonal IUD contains copper. The IUD prevents 99 out of 100 pregnancies each year and, in most cases, is considered safe with little to no side effects. Except in rare instances, side effects tend to be mild and improve or subside within a few months after placement.
SO let’s compare the two major types of IUDs:
- Paragard copper IUD: non- hormonal, works immediately after placement, lasts for 12 years before it is recommended to be removed (and may be removed any time before 12 years), possible side effects- heavier periods, cramping for a few months after it is inserted, stronger cramps with your period, longer periods, benefits- no need to think about birth control, private, can be used while breastfeeding, costs- varied depending upon insurance coverage, most companies cover the cost of the IUD, if not covered, the price could be several hundred dollars.
- Hormonal (Skyla, Mirena, Liletta, etc) IUD: Progestin- only, starts working 7 days after placement (use condoms during the first 7 days), time length for efficacy of these devices varies by device from 3 years to 7 years (although the device can be removed at any time prior), possible side effects- breakthrough bleeding (spotting between periods), cramping for a few months after placements, lighter or fewer periods to no periods after a few months (this is considered normal/ safe), less common- bloating, nausea, headaches, and breast pain, benefits- no need to think about birth control, private, can be used while breastfeeding, may decrease heavy periods/cramps/PMS, costs- varied depending upon insurance coverage, most companies cover the cost of the IUD, if not covered, the price could be several hundred dollars.
*The IUD does not prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections*
If you are considering getting and IUD, give us a call or hit the “request appointment” button to schedule your consultation.
Candance Leaphart- St. Cloud, DO
Owner and founder of Allcare for Women, LLC. Proud healthcare provider in the Las Vegas/ Henderson area.