Though the number of unintended pregnancies in the United States is on the decline, we still have a long way to go. One of the best ways to help women take control of their health and their bodies is access to effective and affordable birth control.
At Eve Medical of Miami, we know how important it is for women to know more about their birth control options, which is why we offer free contraception and family planning counseling. We also offer many birth control options to meet a wide range of needs.
The intrauterine device (IUD) is a long-acting reversible form of birth control that’s as effective at preventing unintended pregnancies as having your tubes tied. Despite being one of the most effective forms of birth control, more women choose the birth control pill than the IUD.
Though the type of birth control best suited for you depends on many factors, some women say “no” to the IUD because of the myths surrounding the birth control device. Here, we want to dispel those myths and share the facts about IUDs.
Fact: IUDs are safe for women whether they have children or not.
There is a misconception that young women or women who’ve never been pregnant have a uterus that’s too small for the IUD. However, the IUD is a very small device, and there’s no evidence that the size of your uterus increases your risk of side effects or expulsion of the device.
However, we measure your uterus before placing the IUD to ensure we can get the right fit.
Once in place, IUDs prevent pregnancy anywhere from 3-10 years. One of the reasons the IUD is so effective at preventing unintended pregnancies is because it’s a “fit and forget” form of contraception. Once it’s in place, there’s nothing else you need to do.
Fact: IUDs don’t travel outside your uterus.
Some women may fear getting an IUD because they heard horror stories about someone’s friend's cousin who had an IUD that migrated into their lungs. However, according to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the IUD never travels outside the abdomen.
Though rare, an IUD may perforate the uterine wall and move into your abdominal cavity. However, this only occurs from improper insertion of the device.
Fact: IUDs may cause discomfort during insertion and cramping for a few days after placement.
The pain you feel during placement of your IUD is in the opening of your cervix. For many women, this pain feels a lot like menstrual cramps. Some women may continue to experience this cramp-like pain for a few days after placement of their IUD.
IUDs may affect your menstrual flow. It’s not uncommon for women to have heavier-than-normal periods and increased menstrual cramps during the first few months after placement of their IUD.
These side effects may be more common in women with non-hormonal IUDs and tend to resolve within 3-6 months. IUD removal is quick and easy, and it’s an option for women who experience uncomfortable side effects from the birth control device.
Fact: IUDs prevent fertilization.
Some people believe IUDs work by causing women to have an abortion.
However, these forms of birth control prevent egg fertilization by either killing the sperm (due to copper in the non-hormonal IUD) or making it too hard for sperm to reach your egg (hormones in hormonal IUDs that thicken cervical mucus).
There’s no single birth control method that’s right for all women, but don’t let misinformation steer you in the wrong direction. Let us help you find the contraceptive that works best for you. Phone our office in Miami, Florida, or request an appointment through our online booking tool.