Almost all women use some form of birth control at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though the intrauterine device (IUD) is almost as effective at preventing pregnancy as female sterilization, the birth control pill is the most popular reversible form of birth control in the US.
Though rates of IUD use for birth control are on the rise, especially in young women who don’t have any children, you may not be all that familiar with this long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC).
Dedicated to ensuring you have all the information you need when it comes to family planning and your health, our women’s health experts at Eve Medical of Miami want to share the pros and cons of using an IUD.
Pro: An IUD is a very effective form of birth control
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, IUDs are more effective at preventing pregnancy than the birth control pill, patch, ring, or shot.
Of every 100 women who use an IUD for birth control, pregnancy occurs in one or fewer women each year. The IUD is almost as effective at preventing pregnancy as female sterilization, which is a permanent form of birth control.
Con: Only your doctor can implant and remove an IUD
The IUD is an implanted device that sits inside your uterus, and it must be placed and removed by one of our women’s health experts.
Though IUD placement and removal is an in-office procedure that takes very little time and doesn’t require any type of anesthesia, some women may feel uncomfortable about the process or consider it inconvenient.
Pro: An IUD prevents pregnancy for years
Once your IUD is in place, it prevents pregnancy for 3-10 years depending on the type of IUD we use.
Hormonal IUDs are effective for 3-5 years. They contain the hormone progestin levonorgestrel, which thickens your cervical mucus and thins your uterine wall.
The hormonal IUD works by preventing sperm from fertilizing your egg and making it impossible for an egg to implant itself into your uterus.
Nonhormonal IUDs work for up to 10 years. These forms of birth control are made of copper and plastic.
Copper is a natural spermicide and prevents pregnancy by altering sperm movement so it can’t reach your egg for fertilization.
Con: IUD insertion may cause discomfort
You may experience pain and cramping during and after placement of your IUD. We may suggest you take an over-the-counter pain reliever prior to insertion of your IUD to minimize discomfort and cramping afterward.
Pro: Fertility returns to normal immediately after removal
You can come in to have us remove your IUD at any time. Once it’s removed, your fertility returns to normal immediately, which is ideal for women who want to get pregnant right away.
With other forms of birth control, it may take 3-6 months for your fertility to return to normal, which may delay your ability to get pregnant.
Con: An IUD may cause irregular menstruation
It’s not unusual for women to experience irregular bleeding and cramping the first few months after insertion of their IUD, no matter the type. If the bleeding and cramping lasts three or more months, we may suggest removing your IUD and trying a different type of birth control.
The IUD is one of the most effective forms of birth control and offers many benefits. However, the IUD isn’t for everyone.
To learn more about IUDs and your other birth control options, contact us by calling our office in Miami, Florida, or using the booking tool on this website.