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Intrauterine Device (IUD) - Which Type Is Better For You?

Dr. Ameya S Kanakiya 87% (10 ratings)
MBBS, DNB, DGO, CCGDM
Gynaecologist, Mumbai  •  12 years experience
Intrauterine Device (IUD) - Which Type Is Better For You?

If you are thinking of adopting one of the effective birth control measures, you can try an intrauterine device (IUD). An IUD is a small plastic device which is placed in the uterus and it helps in preventing the pregnancy. A plastic string is attached to one end for ensuring proper placement and for removal. An IUD can be removed easily and is a reversible birth control method. There are several advantages and disadvantages of using IUDs.

There are two types of IUDs which are commonly used. They are as follows:

  1. Hormonal IUDs: In case of hormonal IUDs, a small amount of progestin is released into the lining of the uterus. This hormone is similar to the progesterone hormone. This hormone helps in thickening the cervical mucus, thereby, making it difficult for the entry of sperm into the cervix. The growth of the uterine lining is slowed down, which makes fertilised eggs inhospitable.
  2. Copper IUDs: In this form of IUD, a tiny amount of copper gets released into the uterus. Sperm is prevented from entering the egg as they get immobilised on the way to the fallopian tubes. Copper has spermicidal action.

Advantages-

1. It is a good method to have spacing between 2 pregnancies. 
2. You will find it comfortable as there is no hassle of remembering to take a pill daily, and does not interfere in the act of intercourse like a condom does. 
3. It can be inserted immediately after delivery or an abortion

4. It does not interfere with breastfeeding. 
5. Hormonal IUDs have an additional advantage of reducing the blood loss during menstruation. 
6. It is easy to both insert and remove an IUD. 
7. You can use IUDs for many years. 

You just need to replace the IUD once its life (3 years or 5 years depending on the type of IUD) is over. 

Disadvantages- 

1. IUD does not prevent against sexually transmitted diseases or HIV
2. It could be a source of infection in females with multiple sexual partners. 
3. Copper IUDs may cause exessive bleeding or pain in abdomen in some patients for the initial few cycles. 
4. Very very rarely the IUD may perforate the uterus and come to lie in the abdominal cavity. 

Nevertheless an IUD is on of the easiest and cheapest methods of birth control available today. Considering the advantages and disadvantages, you may consult your gynaecologist to decide on the best type of IUD for you. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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