IUD Insertion and Removal
IUDs, or intrauterine devices, are small medical devices placed inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUD insertion and removal can be performed during a brief appointment that requires no general anesthesia or incisions.
The Two Types of IUDs
IUDs are available in two types and each type of IUD works differently to achieve the same goal of preventing pregnancy.
- Hormonal IUDs are one of the most popular type of IUDs that release a form of the hormone progestin called levonorgestrel. This hormone works to prevent fertilization by causing the cervix to produce mucous, thereby blocking sperm from entering the uterus. Hormonal IUDs also affect the growth of endometrial tissue inside the uterus, causing the lining to become thin and inhospitable for a fertilized egg. These types of IUDs may be left in place for three to five years, depending upon the product.
- Copper IUDs are another type of IUDs in use today. These devices contain copper wire, which causes the uterus and fallopian tubes to produce a fluid and hostile environmental condition that prevents conception. Copper IUDs can remain in the uterus for up to ten years.
Many women are good candidates for IUD insertion as a form of safe, long-lasting, and effective birth control. You may be a good candidate for an IUD if
- You cannot or prefer not to use birth control pills, condoms, or other forms of birth control.
- You are looking for a longer-term, more cost effective birth control solution that does not need to be replenished or re-administered every one to three months.
- You are willing to perform a self-check to ensure your IUD is still in place once a month, as IUDs can sometimes be expelled naturally from the body.
- You are not prone to pelvic infections and do not suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease.
- You understand that an IUD will only prevent pregnancy and not the contraction of sexually-transmitted diseases. If you or your partner may be infected with a sexually-transmitted disease, condoms are the best solution to prevent transmission.