How awesome would it be to get through high school or college without having to worry about getting pregnant? How cool would it be to not have to remember a pill everyday or ever dealing with the pharmacy? What about a method that only you knew you were using? Well it’s totally possible with the IUD!!!!
So what exactly is an IUD?
An IUD is a small, flexible, T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a licensed clinician. There are 2 different types here in the United States: The Mirena and the Paragard.
The Mirena can last for 5 years (though it can be taken out sooner if desired). It releases a small amount of hormone that helps in preventing pregnancy. In fact, the Mirena is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. It works by thickening the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. It’s difficult for the sperm to swim through the thickened mucus, so it can’t reach or fertilizing the egg! It also thins the lining of the uterus.
The Paragard can last for 10 years (and like the Mirena, can be taken out sooner if desired). It is also over 99% effective. It works by creating an inflammatory reaction in the uterus that kills the sperm.
The Good Stuff:
- It is the MOST effective form of birth control other than not having sex at all and it’s reversible. Meaning once the IUD is taken out a woman can become pregnant again.
- No remembering! No need to remember a daily bill, a weekly patch, a monthly ring, or a shot every few months. Once an IUD is in place there is no need to remember anything but when it needs to be removed!
- Because the IUD is placed inside the uterus, no one will know you are using it.
- The Mirena IUD often reduces the amount of bleeding during a period. In fact, many women stop having periods all together (this may or may not be a positive for everyone).
The Other Stuff:
- The device needs to be inserted and removed by a licensed clinician. That may sound a little scary but women tend to do really well with the insertion. The insertion itself only takes a few minutes!
- Some women have some cramping and bleeding for a few weeks after the IUD is put in.
- IUD’s do not protect against STD’s or HIV.
- Some women who have the Pargard have heavier periods.
Yes, the IUD sounds too good to be true but it I swear I am telling you the truth! Don’t believe me? Check out some of the videos on Besider!
In happiness & health,
Reviewed by Grace Shih, MD