An IUD is a small device made from copper or plastic which prevents a fertilized egg from developing in the uterus. The IUD is inserted into the uterus by a physician, generally during the menstrual period when the cervix is softer. Once the IUD is in place, it can remain there for several years, depending on the individual and the type of IUD. We offer copper IUDs (Paragaurd) as well as hormonal IUDs (Mirena and Skyla).
Paraguard, which is made of copper and contains no hormones, is effective for up to twelve years. Mirena and Skyla are both plastic which release small amounts of progestin. Mirena is effective for up to five years. Skyla, which is slightly smaller, is effective for up to three years.
All IUDs function by manipulating the way that sperms move, stopping sperm from finding an egg. Hormonal IUDs can also prevent an egg from being released and thickening the cervical mucus stopping the sperm from entering the uterus.
The IUD is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Less than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant while using an IUD. IUDs do not protect against STDs/STIs. Interestingly, Paragard can be used as an emergency contraception. If placed within five days of intercourse, Paragard reducing the chance of conception by over 99%.
To remain effective, IUDs must be checked regualrly - you can do this at home, no doctor needed!IUD users may occasionally become pregnant because the IUD has shifted from its proper location. If a woman with an IUD experiences symptoms of pregnancy such as enlarged breasts, missed periods or nausea, or symptoms of infections such as fever or unusual vaginal discharge her physician must be notified immediately. There is a serious risk of complications with pregnancies that occur with an IUD in place.
Women who have uterine, fallopian, ovarian, cervical or vaginal irregularities should not use an IUD. In some cases, the IUD may present certain problems. Insertion can cause painful menstrual cramps and women with an IUD may experience more severe menstrual cramps as well as longer and heavier periods. Women with an IUD may be more prone to certain infections.