More Ins and Outs of IUDs
So you’ve heard of an IUD (Intrauterine Device) and you know what it is for, but it is important to know the facts to help determine if it is the right birth control option for you. And in a sea of options as far as contraceptives go, the more you know the better.
The IUD's Good Points
An IUD is one of the most common choices among women who are in permanent, single partner relationships since it allows for a great deal of spontaneity. There is no need to remember the birth control pill every day and no fumbling for a condom at the peak of intimacy. It is a mess free option that doesn’t interrupt your regular menstrual cycle and allows you to have sex anytime with no preparation. It does need to be inserted and removed by a medical Doctor (usually during menstruation), but once it is in place there is no daily attention required and it is effective right away. It is often a reliable long term solution, since, depending on the brand and other factors, IUD’s can be left in place and remain effective for 1-10 years.
With a 99% effective rate, it may very well be one of the best kept secrets for women, but it certainly isn’t risk free and it’s not for everyone. As popular as IUD’s are, they offer no protection whatsoever against any sexually transmitted infections or diseases, so they are not a good option for women with multiple partners. A very small percentage of women are simply unable to keep an IUD in their uterus, but this usually happens within the first month and is more common in women who have never had children. So, remember to ask the Doctor to show you how to check if the IUD is still in place, it is quick and easy. For some women an IUD can cause heavier and more painful periods, but this usually improves after a few months. There is a slight possibility that the IUD may become embedded in the wall of your uterus and this will require a more extensive procedure to remove, but it will still be effective in preventing pregnancy. It is highly recommended that an IUD be removed as soon as possible if a women becomes pregnant since there is an increased risk of miscarriage or premature birth, even if there are no plans to carry the baby to term.
While the benefits outweigh the risks for many women, it is a decision that needs to be made with your partner and your Doctor.