If you currently have an IUD or are considering getting one, you likely have questions about how well they work and how you will live with one on a continuing basis. You are not alone. Here are some frequently asked questions about IUDs we hear and answer about this popular birth control method.
Do IUDs Actually Prevent Pregnancy?
Research shows that hormonal IUDs do prevent pregnancy by impacting sperm function and motility. and by disallowing fertilization of an egg by sperm. Copper IUDs, however, can irritate the endometrium, or uterine lining, in such a way as to prevent the implantation of an already fertilized egg.
Are IUDs Effective?
This birth control method is up to 99.9 percent effective. Depending on the kind of device you and your healthcare provider select, you may prevent pregnancy for three, five, or even up to 10 years.
Intrauterine devices have the advantage of low maintenance, too. Simply check the retention string monthly and get your routine wellness checks with your provider.
Plus, this birth control option is fully reversible. If you decide you wish to get pregnant, have your provider remove the device at their office. Fertility returns quickly.
What Are IUDs Made of?
Most of today’s intrauterine devices are made of flexible plastic infused with levo orgesterol (progestin) hormone. These products are the Liletta, Mirena, Kyleena, and Skyla IUDs. The copper IUD is the Paragard. All are T-shaped and equipped with a string that resides outside the cervix in the vaginal canal.
Can IUDs Come Out?
IUDs can be expelled. However, this is rare. Statistics show that 3.2 per 100 IUDS installed in women who have never had children are expelled; but, the number is higher for women who have given birth: 7.9 devices per 100.
That being said, evaluation and insertion by an experienced healthcare provider, along with monthly string checks on the part of the patient, facilitate the long-term retention of intrauterine birth control devices.
Do IUDs Make Menstruation Heavier or Painful?
Some women do experience heavier periods, along with more painful cramping. If these symptoms become too uncomfortable, you should see your healthcare provider right away.
Does My Partner Feel the IUD During Sex?
Either or both the woman and her intimate partner may feel the intrauterine device during intercourse. However, if the device is properly inserted and retained, it should not be a common occurrence.
Is the Insertion Procedure Painful?
IUD insertion is a quick in-office procedure. Some women report some pressure and cramping with insertion. However, these typically resolve within a few hours of insertion.
Can I Have Sex Right Away?
With hormonal intrauterine devices, you must abstain from sexual activity for at least a week after insertion. With the copper Paragard IUD, you can have sex right away after it is inserted.
Learn More About Birth Control Options
At FamilyCare of Kent, our nurse practitioners are very knowledgeable about birth control methods, including long-term options, such as intrauterine devices. We encourage complete and accurate patient education before starting birth control with an IUD or any other method.