When choosing a birth control method, some women find they’d prefer a longer lasting alternative to daily birth control pills. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) can be a safe, effective birth control method for women who decide they want a solution that can last at least a few years and is relatively low maintenance. Northwest Women’s Center in Houston, TX offers several types of IUDs and can help patients choose one that best fits their contraceptive needs.
What is an intrauterine device (IUD)?
An intrauterine device, commonly called an IUD, is a long-term form of birth control. There are two kinds of IUDs available today: copper and hormonal. The copper IUD and hormonal IUD both stop pregnancy by preventing egg fertilization. The copper IUD, ParaGard, stops egg fertilization because copper repels sperm. Hormonal IUDs, which include Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla, and Liletta, use a steady release of the hormone progestin to stop egg fertilization.
How long does an IUD prevent pregnancy?
IUDs can prevent pregnancy for years at a time, making it an extremely easy and convenient method of birth control.
- ParaGard: Works for up to 12 years
- Mirena: Works for up to 6 years
- Kyleena: Works for up to 5 years
- Liletta: Works for up to 3 years
- Skyla: Works for up to 3 years
How does IUD insertion work?
IUD insertion is done in the office at Northwest Women’s Center. One of the skilled OB-GYNs can quickly and safely implant the device in the uterus in just a few minutes. You’ll simply need to lay in the same position as you do during a pelvic exam for the IUD insertion. Most patients don’t experience any discomfort, and there’s no recovery time needed. In some cases, patients have a mild cramping sensation after IUD insertion, but this usually goes away quite quickly. IUD placement should be checked during regular follow-up exams with your doctor.
Who is a good candidate for an IUD?
Any woman who wants long-term birth control that doesn’t require any daily, weekly, or monthly maintenance may be a good candidate for an IUD. IUDs usually work best for women who have given birth in the past, but women who haven’t had children often elect to get an IUD as a form of birth control.
What is the effectiveness rate of IUDs?
IUDs are one of the most effective options for pregnancy prevention today, at more than 99% effectiveness.
What if you want to have kids later?
This isn’t a problem with the IUD. If you decide that you’re ready to have children, your OB-GYN can remove the IUD and you can start trying to conceive as soon as you’re ready.