IUD Q & A
What is an IUD?
An IUD is a plastic, T-shaped device that’s inserted into your uterus. The IUD kills sperm in one of two ways:
The IUD is wrapped in copper, which is toxic to sperm and prompts your uterus and fallopian tubes to produce a substance that kills sperm. A copper IUD lasts up to 10 years.
A hormonal IUD releases levonorgestrel, which makes the mucus on your cervix thick and sticky, preventing sperm from passing through to your uterus. This type of IUD lasts three to five years.
What is an IUD Specialist
An IUD Specialist is a provider who is trained and certified with IUD devices. While an IUD device is simple and hassle free for the patient, the actual insertion requires specialized training. Choosing an IUD Specialist when considering a provider is critical. Embry Women’s Health offers three providers who each have 30 years of experience in women’s health.
What are the advantages of using an IUD?
An IUD offers many advantages over other forms of birth control, such as:
- No effort is required, such as taking a daily pill or receiving injections
- The method is reversible by simply removing the device
- Only one in 100 women have reported getting pregnant using an IUD
- It does not cause weight gain
The hormonal IUD has also been effective in reducing menstrual bleeding and cramps, as well as problems associated with endometriosis.
It’s important to note that an IUD no matter how many sexual partners you have, it’s still a good idea to use condoms. Not only is there no such thing as a foolproof birth control method, but IUDs don’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
How does the IUD Work?
IUDs work by preventing sperm from being able to reach and fertilize an egg. Some IUDs also thin the lining of the uterus and partially suppress ovulation to provide additional protection against pregnancy.
Which IUDs do you offer?
Embry Women’s Health provides the following IUDs:
Your provider at Embry Women’s Health will help you review the different IUD devices and pick the one that is perfect for you.
How much does an IUD cost?
For most women with commercial insurance an IUD Birth Control device is free with no out of pocket costs. Which is fantastic as you can have between 3 and 10 years worth of birth control without ever having to remember to take a pill or go to a pharmacy. If your insurance plan does not cover birth control or you do not have health insurance you still have options. We have an entire page dedication to the cost of an IUD device without health insurance.
What are the benefits of an IUD?
IUDs provide several benefits for patients. IUDs can remain in place for many years, providing convenient protection from pregnancy that doesn’t require the participation of the partner or interruption of sex. IUDs also reduce menstrual bleeding and may alleviate pain from endometriosis. In addition, IUD Specialist’s can remove an IUD at any time, allowing the woman to become fertile again quickly.
Is the IUD insertion process painful?
The IUD Specialist will use a local anesthetic to numb the cervix before the insertion of the IUD. During the insertion, patients may notice some cramping. To prevent pain from cramping, the specialist may recommend an over-the-counter painkiller to patients. Some women may also notice some bleeding during and after the insertion of the IUD.
Are there any risks with using an IUD?
As with any birth control method, there are side effects and risks. When it comes to IUDs, the following risks or side effects have been reported:
- Menstrual problems: The copper IUD has increased menstrual bleeding and cramps in some women, while the hormonal IUD has reduced menstrual bleeding in most women.
- Perforation: While uncommon, an IUD can get stuck and perforate your uterus, which usually occurs during insertion.
- Expulsion: This is also rare, but some women’s bodies push the IUDs out of the uterus during the first year.
Also, you should not consider an IUD if you have a pelvic infection, or have a history of reactions to copper. Your OB/GYN at the Association for Women’s Healthcare will make sure you’re a good candidate for an IUD before inserting one.
Are there other types of long term birth control other than an IUD?
While the IUD is a fantastic long term birth control it is not for everyone. Thankfully, there is another option known as Nexplanon. Nexplanon is a birth control device that is implanted in the upper arm. It releases a steady amount of hormones to prevent pregnancy. It is less than two inches long and takes only a few minutes to be inserted during a simple procedure right in the office. Visit our Nexplanon birth control page for more information.