IUD (Copper & Hormonal)

 

IUD stands for Inauterine device. There are two types of IUDs that are federally approved in the U.S., the copper IUD and the hormonal IUD. Its popularity has increased, if not skyrocketed, in recent years, although the modern IUD has already been around for several decades.


WHAT IS IT?

The Copper IUD is a long acting reversible contraceptive method in the form of a soft flexible plastic and copper T-shaped device with hanging strings, measuring a little over 1 inch in length. In the U.S., there is only one federally approved hormone-free copper IUD, Paragard.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina to open it up and cleans the vaginal and cervical cavities with antiseptic solution. The device’s arms are folded down and then the device is carefully placed in the uterus; the hanging strings are used for future removal and may be trimmed so they don’t protrude. Pain, dizziness, or bleeding may occur during insertion.

The copper interferes with sperm movement, egg fertilization, and prevents possible implantation, all without hormones. Paragard has a 99% effectiveness for contraception and can prevent pregnancy for up to 12 years.

BENEFITS, SIDE EFFECTS, AND SERIOUS RISKS

Potential Benefits Low maintenance, reversible, hormone free
Common Side Effects Heavier/longer periods, unscheduled breakthrough bleeding, anemia, back ache, cramps, vaginitis. Bleeding or spotting may increase in first 2-3 months, but should decrease after.
Serious Risks 1% chance of of uterine perforation (device becomes attached to vaginal wall) and expulsion (device moves outside the uterine cavity) that can cause internal scarring, organ damage, or infection, increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, PID.

YOU SHOULD NOT USE A COPPER IUD IF

 you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, have PID, uterine and cervical abnormalities, tumors, or cancers, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, have MPC or Wilson’s disease, or may be allergic to its components. 


WHAT IS IT?

The Hormonal / Hormone-Releasing IUD is a long acting reversible contraceptive method in the form of a soft flexible plastic T-shaped device with hanging strings, measuring a little over 1 inch in length. In the U.S., there are 4 available hormone-releasing IUDs – Skyla, Mirena, Liletta, and Kyleena.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina to open it up and cleans the vaginal and cervical cavities with antiseptic solution. The device’s arms are folded down and then the device is carefully placed in the uterus; the hanging strings are used for future removal and may be trimmed so they don’t protrude. Pain, dizziness, or bleeding may occur during insertion.

The levonorgestel, a progestin, in the Hormone-Releasing IUD works by thickening cervical mucus making it harder for sperm mobility and thins the uterus lining making it harder for eggs to attach there.

HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?

Hormone releasing IUDs have a 99% effectiveness for contraception and can prevent pregnancy from 3-5 years.

BENEFITS, SIDE EFFECTS, AND SERIOUS RISKS

Potential Benefits Low maintenance, reversible, reduces cramps, used to treat menorraghia and anemia, can eliminate periods
Common Side Effects Missed periods, unscheduled breakthrough bleeding, cramps, pelvic pain, nausea, headache, anxiety, back pain, weight gain, breast tenderness, acne, severely High blood pressure, depression. Bleeding or spotting may increase in first 6 months, but should decrease after.
Serious Risks 1% chance of of uterine perforation (device becomes attached to vaginal wall) and expulsion (device moves outside the uterine cavity) – can cause internal scarring, organ damage, or infection, increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cysts may develop but usually go away, sometimes surgery is needed to remove them

YOU SHOULD NOT USE A HORMONE IUD IF you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, have PID, uterine distorting abnormalities such as fibroids, known or suspected uterine or cervical tumors, an abnormal pap smear, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, liver tumor or disease, known or suspected breast tumor or cancer, severely high blood pressure, headache with neurological symptoms, history of blood clots and cardiovascular disease, or may be allergic to its components. Talk to your doctor if you are allergic to anesthetics or antiseptics.

Always consult with your doctor for your personal health. Don’t hesitate to voice your concerns with them. They are there to provide you more information and recommendations about the most suitable options for your body and overall wellness.