The IUD (Intrauterine device) is a small T shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a doctor. This device works by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg, thereby preventing conception. This method of birth control is often chosen by women who are looking for a reversible, affordable and dependable form of birth control. Because the IUD can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years depending on the type chosen, many women find it much more hassle free and convenient than other methods of birth control. As with any other form of birth control there are always certain risks involved with using an IUD. It is very important that any woman who is considering having an IUD interested know the advantages as well as the disadvantages of doing so, prior to having it done. There are many factors involved with determining whether or not the IUD is the right form of birth control for you. Following is some helpful information on the IUD, the variations and some of the considerations that should be made before choosing one.
How Effective Is the IUD?
Obviously, the first thing you will need to ask yourself when looking into any form of birth control is how effective the type you are researching is. The IUD is literally one of the most effective forms of birth control at the current time, with less than 1% of all women using one becoming pregnant. One of the main reasons the IUD is considered so affective is that there is virtually no action necessary by you once it has been inserted. With other forms of birth control, you must remember to take a pill, schedule an appointment for an injection, renew a patch or even remember to purchase condoms or contraceptive foam. The IUD will last for years and years provided it has been inserted properly by a qualified professional.
Can I Afford an IUD?
Another consideration when determining what type of birth control you will use is whether or not you can fit into your budget. An IUD device can cost anywhere between $450 to $1000 and to some this may seem expensive. However, when you consider that an IUD can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years, it doesn’t seem all that costly after all. Unlike other forms of birth control such as the pill or the Depo shot, and IUD will only have a one time fee. If you are to take the maximum IUD could cause, let’s say $1000 and divide it by 10 years, the cost would come in at about $100 per year. Obviously, this is quite economical. Unfortunately, there are some women who cannot afford the upfront investment.
IUD Is Best for Long-Term Protection
If you are looking for a form of birth control that will last for to three years while you are waiting to become stable in your lifestyle, the IUD is probably not for you. An IUD device is strongly recommended for women who are looking for extremely long-term protection, up to a decade. Even though an IUD can be removed at any time, most doctors do not recommend this device for women who feel they may develop a desire to become pregnant in the near future. Most of the women seem to be a perfect fit for the IUD are women who have already had children or do not plan to have any. Some doctors caution against the use of an IUD for women who may plan to become mothers and who have not had any children yet. This is because there is a small risk of pelvic inflammatory disease should an infection occur. This can affect fertility, although there is a very slight chance of this happening.
Determine If You Want to Use a Hormonal Method
One thing to keep in mind is that many times women are prescribed birth control pills for other things aside from just preventing pregnancy. Sometimes women may be prescribed birth control pills for things like acne, weight issues or other hormonal imbalances. There is one type of IUD which does release hormones into the system. This IUD is called the Mirena coil and it works by releasing the hormone progestin, which assists women in experiencing less severe cramps as well as lighter menstrual periods. The ParaGard IUD does not release any hormones into the body. This is a good option in terms of libido but it may contribute to more painful menstrual cramps.
Possible Side Effects
Using an IUD may cause undesirable side effects in some women. A small percentage of women who have IUD inserted will experience lower back pain, pelvic cramping, longer or heavier menstrual periods or vaginal discharge. In addition, there is a very small risk of the IUD piercing the wall of the uterus during the process of insertion. The IUD could also be pushed out or slip out of place sometime during the first year. This would mean a new IUD would become necessary. As mentioned earlier, there is also a risk of pelvic inflammatory disease as a result of some sort of infection. In the older variation of IUD’s, this was much more common. Today, the percentage of women who develop this sort of complication is extremely small.
Having an IUD inserted will surely help guard you from becoming pregnant as it is a very effective form of birth control. However, it is important that you discuss all of your options with your gynecologist prior to deciding on any method of birth control. The IUD is not recommended for teenagers or unmarried women as it offers no protection from sexually transmitted disease. If you do make a decision to go with an IUD, it is very important to remember that you must also use secondary protection in order to guard yourself from STDs such as HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and many others. To find out more information on IUDs, ask your physician for any literature or pamphlets he/she may have on hand.