4 Advantages of Choosing an IUD Over Other Birth Control Options

Choosing birth control is a very personal decision. Whether you’re practicing birth control to prevent pregnancy, manage your hormones, or a combination of factors, you have many options available.

The right birth control for you depends on your lifestyle and goals. Pills, patches, shots, and IUDs are popular choices for women who want children in the future, because they’re all reversible. At Marion Ob/Gyn, David Foulk, MD, can help you find the best birth control for you. For safe, simple, and long-term birth control, consider an intrauterine device (IUD)

An IUD is a small device placed in your uterus that prevents pregnancy. The T-shaped device is about an inch long, and once it’s inserted into your uterus, a short string in your vagina allows you or the doctor to check that it’s still there.  

The use of IUDs is rising in popularity because they’re long-lasting, convenient, and safe. IUDs can protect you from unwanted pregnancy for years, but they can be removed at any time if you decide you want to get pregnant. There are a number of advantages of using an IUD.

1. IUDs last for years

The two main types of IUDs are hormonal and copper. Hormonal IUDs are made of plastic and release small amounts of the hormone progestin over time. Hormonal IUDs can last 3-6 years, depending on the type you get.

Copper IUDs can last up to 12 years once they’re inserted. Because copper IUDs don’t use hormones to prevent pregnancy, they can last significantly longer than hormonal IUDs. Copper IUDs work by inhibiting sperm so it can’t reach an egg to fertilize it.

2. With an IUD, there’s nothing to forget

For birth control pills to be effective, you need to take one every day at the same time. Birth control injections require a trip to the doctor every three months, while patches need to be replaced weekly.

When you have an IUD, there’s nothing to remember. You don’t need to go to the pharmacy each month, and you don’t need frequent medical appointments. Once you have an IUD, there’s nothing you need to do.

Inserting an IUD takes just a few minutes, and then Dr. Foulk will check it during your annual exams for as long as you have the device.

3. IUDs can make your menstrual periods lighter

Hormonal IUDs release controlled amounts of progestin while in your uterus. They not only work to prevent pregnancy by thickening the mucus of your cervix to keep sperm out, they can also ease your menstrual periods.

Hormonal IUDs can lessen painful or heavy periods. For many women, periods are significantly lighter and may even disappear completely. Hormonal IUDs can reduce cramps, too. It’s possible you’ll experience fewer side effects with hormonal IUDs than you do with other hormonal methods because the hormones are limited to the uterus.

4. After it’s removed, an IUD doesn’t affect fertility

IUDs are completely reversible. While an IUD is 99% effective when you have it, it doesn’t impact your fertility once it’s removed. If you decide you want to get pregnant, you can have your IUD removed at any time, and conception is possible right away.

After you have your IUD removed, you may have some light bleeding or spotting. If you don’t start another form of birth control, you can expect your periods to return to the way they were before you got an IUD. If you don’t want to get pregnant, it’s very important to either replace your IUD or start another form of birth control immediately.

IUDs are a great option for many women who want long-term birth control but want to have children in the future. IUDs are convenient, safe, and extremely effective at preventing pregnancy. To learn more about your birth control options and to decide which form is right for you, contact our office for your first appointment.

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