What Women Should Know Before Getting an IUD

IUDs have been around since the 1960s, but they’re still a relatively new option for American women. An IUD (short for intrauterine device) is a small T-shaped piece of plastic that’s inserted into your uterus by a doctor or nurse practitioner. Once in place, the IUD prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones or copper ions. The hormonal IUD prevents pregnancy by releasing progestin (the hormone found in birth control pills), which makes the cervical mucus thicker and harder for sperm to penetrate. Copper-based IUDs don’t prevent fertilization; instead, they cause a foreign object reaction that causes sperm to die before reaching an egg cell

IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control.

IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control. They’re over 99% effective, which means that less than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year while using an IUD.

IUDs are also reversible, so if you decide you want to get pregnant or stop using birth control altogether, it’s easy to remove your IUD at any time.

They’re good for five to ten years, depending on the type you get.

Copper IUDs are good for up to 10 years, depending on the type you get. Hormonal IUDs are effective for five years. If you want to keep your IUD indefinitely, ask your doctor about replacing it before its expiration date.

Copper IUDs are T-shaped devices made of soft plastic with copper wires wrapped around the stem; they’re inserted into the uterus by a health care provider and left in place until they need to be removed (usually between 5 and 10 years later). The device prevents sperm from reaching an egg by impeding their movement through the fallopian tubes and fertilizing it once inside an ovary, as well as preventing ovulation … READ MORE ...