An intrauterine device (IUD), also known as an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD), is a small T-shaped plastic device with copper banded around the transverse arms, which is inserted into the uterus to prevent you from getting pregnant or conceive. IUD contraception is one of the best birth control methods that is better than the oral contraceptive pills.
The advantages of the IUD include the fact that it is highly effective in preventing you from getting pregnant or conceive, is reversible, and starts working almost immediately. Once the birth control IUD is removed, there is a quick return to fertility. IUD contraception is one of the best birth control methods that is better than the oral contraceptive pills. The levonorgestrel-releasing IUD (99% effectiveness) is replaced every three to five years. The copper IUD is also 99% effective and only needs to be replaced every 10 years.
What are the types of IUD?
Copper IUD or Copper-T
It is a small plastic device which has the copper wire (acts as a spermicide) wrapped around its stem. It releases copper ion and stops sperm from fertilizing the egg and affects the transport of the egg in the fallopian tubes that prevent you from getting pregnant or conceive.
It is a small device of the shape similar to copper IUD which releases hormone (Progestin). It thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering your uterus. IUD contraception is one of the best birth control methods that is better than the oral contraceptive pills.
It is similar to copper IUD and stainless steel (inert material) is used instead of copper. It is less effective than Copper and hormonal IUDs.
How is IUD Used?
The birth control IUD is inserted into the uterus by the doctor. The string at the end of the IUD will hang down through the cervix a short distance into the vagina and should be checked periodically (especially after menstruation).
Who can one use IUD?
Healthy women can easily use birth control IUD. They are not right for every woman and some women should not use an IUD for contraception. Before an IUD is inserted, a woman will have pregnancy test to ensure that she is not pregnant and will be tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). IUD contraception is one of the best birth control methods that is better than the oral contraceptive pills.
The following are reasons that a woman should not use an IUD:
1- Ongoing pelvic infection, such as an STD or a recent STD
2- Cancer of the uterus or cervix
3- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
4- Abnormal or distorted uterine anatomy
What is the effectiveness of IUD?
It is 99% effective
How long is IUD effective?
Copper T is effective for 10 years and Hormonal IUD is effective for 5 years.
What are the advantages of IUD?
1- Long-acting reversible contraception
2- Very effective contraception
3- Can stay in place for five or more year
4- Can be easily removed if you don’t like it or want to conceive
5- It is possible to get pregnant as soon as IUD is removed
6- It does not affect breastfeeding
7- It does not interfere with sexual intercourse
8- No-one else needs to know you are using it
9- There is no evidence of an increased risk of cancer
10- Copper IUDs do not contain any hormones
It is also suitable for women who cannot use estrogen-containing contraceptives, such as:
a- Those with a history of venous thromboembolism
b- Those with stroke, myocardial infarction, or other forms of arterial disease
c- Those with long-standing diabetes
d- Those subject to migraines
e- Women over 35 years who smoke heavily
What are the disadvantages of IUD?
1- You have to have the birth control IUD inserted. This is usually a simple and safe procedure that is carried out by doctor or nurse who is experienced at fitting IUDs. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
2- Most women have some period like cramping. Some women feel pain and occasionally faint when the IUD is put in or removed. IUD contraception is one of the best birth control methods that is better than the oral contraceptive pills.
a- There are some health risks from having an IUD put in: There may be a small chance of infection (about 1%) when an IUD is put in
b- There is a very small risk of damage or perforation of the womb (about 1 in 1,000)
c- You may (rarely) get pregnant with an IUD
d- Copper IUD may cause excessive bleeding and cramping during periods
e- Copper can very rarely cause an allergic reaction
What are the contraindications of IUD?
The use of the IUD is contraindicated in women who have:
1- Irregular vaginal bleeding which has not been diagnosed and could be due to cancer of the female sexual organs
2- Current or recent past history of pelvic infection
3- Current dysmenorrhea or menorrhagia which could be worsened by the IUD
4- Small uteri or abnormally-shaped uteri
5- Ovarian, cervical, or endometrial cancer
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