With about 65% of women ages 15-49 using contraception now and nearly all women using some form of contraception in their lifetime, birth control is a very important facet of a woman’s life. With so many options, it can be hard to find the right one to fit your specific needs.
But if you’re looking for a birth control method that lasts far longer and is even more effective than pills, condoms, sponges, and diaphragms, there are many really good reasons to consider an intrauterine device (IUD).
In the Lake Mary, Florida, area, you need look no further than OB/GYN Christopher K. Quinsey, MD, for effective methods of birth control. He offers decades of experience giving women complete care for a variety of gynecological needs, including contraception management.
What is an IUD?
The intrauterine device is so named because it is a small, flexible device that is placed in your uterus to prevent you from getting pregnant. It is 99% effective if used correctly and can last up to 10 years, depending on which type of IUD you use.
There are five types of IUD in the United States broken down into two categories:
Four of the IUDs on the market (Liletta®, Kyleena®, Mirena®, Skyla®) work by releasing levonorgestrel into your reproductive system, which is the same hormone used in numerous birth control pills (progestin). It also makes your periods lighter.
The other method is Paragard®, which uses copper to trigger your immune system into preventing pregnancy. It may cause heavier periods in the beginning, but it lasts longer than IUDs that use hormones.
How does it work?
Both types of IUD work by making it difficult for sperm to reach your eggs. With Paragard, sperm is repelled by copper, making insemination nearly impossible.
With the hormone IUDs progestin works to block sperm by thickening the mucus in the cervix and preventing eggs from leaving your ovaries. Paragard can also be used for emergency contraception, if it’s inserted within five days of unprotected sex.
What are the benefits?
IUDs are highly effective and last longer than many other birth control methods, anywhere from three to 10 years, depending on the type of IUD. This means you can get an IUD and not even worry about pregnancy for up to a decade.
IUDs are also inexpensive and quickly reversible if you decide to have a baby. And IUDs can relieve menstrual pain, heavy periods, and pain from endometriosis, a condition in which the inner lining of your uterus (the endometrium) grows where it’s not supposed to.
IUDs are an ideal solution for most healthy women, but they aren’t recommended if you’re pregnant or have unexplained vaginal bleeding, a copper allergy, Wilson’s disease, an STD, or a pelvic infection.
An IUD is one of the most effective ways to prevent pregnancy, but it doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). You should always take measures to prevent STDs, but for birth control, IUDs are a very effective solution. If you’re interested in learning more, make an appointment with Dr. Quinsey today.